THE new so-called British variant of COVID-19 has already arrived to Malaga and Granada.

According to the regional health ministry, three cases have been detected in Malaga and two in Granada.

A further four in Malaga are also awaiting test results to confirm if they have been infected by the new strain.

The variant is up to 70% more contagious but is not believed to be more harmful to carriers.

All five of the infected in Malaga and Granada are not reported to be in a serious condition.

The Junta de Andalucia has demanded the central Government establishes stricter measures at airports to better detect the entry of the virus, particularly its new mutations.

Currently, only Spaniards or residents can return to Spain by plane.

The stricter measure came into place after the UK announced the discovery of the new strain in late November.

But as experts feared, the strain had already been carried across the world, with cases later detected in Australia and Japan.

Those who are permitted to fly from the UK to Spain must show a negative COVID-19 test to board their flight, but this measure has not proven full proof in preventing the virus from being imported.

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