THE first two confirmed infections of the new COVID-19 strain detected in the UK have been identified in the Valencian Community.

Microbiologists from the Elche General Hospital say that two Spaniards, one of whom had recently returned from the UK, were carrying the more virulent strain.

The variant was identified in the London and South-East areas of England earlier this month and is much more contagious than the ‘original’ coronavirus strain.

Spain has responded to the UK variant by closing borders for travellers from Britain unless they are Spanish citizens or residents.

The Costa Blanca discovery adds to new strain COVID-19 infections being discovered in the Madrid and Andalucia regions in recent days.

The new variant is a fresh concern for authorities in the Valencian Community who announced a record-breaking daily COVID-19 case figure yesterday(December 29).

On Monday, Spain’s Health and Emergencies director, Fernando Simon, said:

“Those who are infected with the new strain from the United Kingdom present symptoms four or five days after arriving back in Spain.”

“That means the chances of detection either back in the UK or at a Spanish airport are low.”

In spite of the COVID-19 variant being more contagious, experts say that vaccinations will be able to deal with it, as the strain has no impact on antibodies.

Vaccinations began in residential homes in the Valencian Community last Sunday(December 27).

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