New variants of the coronavirus

In December 2020, a new variant of the coronavirus (COVID-19) was found to be spreading in the UK, particularly in the South East and London. This was previously referred to as the “new virus variant” in line with GOV.UK, but with the emergence of other variants, this should now be referred to as the “UK variant”. It is sometimes also referred to as VOC 1 (variant of concern 1) or the Kent variant.

In early 2021, another new variant of the coronavirus was found to be spreading in the UK, known as the South African variant, also known as VOC 2 (variant of concern 2). This should be referred to as the “South African variant”.