France confirms first case on its soil of British COVID-19 variant

France finds first case of new coronavirus variant

The father, mother and sister of a young man who arrived in Madrid by plane last week have tested positive for the coronavirus variant, it added.

Officials there said on Friday that a French citizen who recently traveled from London has tested positive for the new variant.

French health authorities have confirmed the country's first case of the virus variant that prompted strict new lockdown measures in Britain and global travel restrictions.

"The person is asymptotic for Covid-19, is now isolated at home and is doing well", the statement said.

Countries around the world have in recent days closed their borders to both Britain and South Africa following the identification of cases of the new, fast-spreading variant of the coronavirus in those countries. He was now self-isolating and felt alright, the ministry added.

Health authorities have carried out contact-tracing for the health professionals taking care of the patient, the ministry said in a statement.

Any of their contacts that were seen as vulnerable would similarly be isolated, the statement said.

Also, Japan confirmed five infections in passengers who had entered the country from the United Kingdom, while cases in the Netherlands, Denmark and Australia were also reported.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said the new viral strain "may be up to 70% more transmissible than the original version of the disease". It will continue certain travel restrictions through at least January 6.

The fourth confirmed case of the new variant involves a man who arrived in Madrid on December 20 on another flight.

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