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UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said that a new COVID-19 variant originating from South Africa is even more transmissible than the one identified as responsible for the recent spike in London. 

The world was alarmed by the fast spread of the disease in the UK, banning flights. So far, there is no evidence that these new strains are resistant to the vaccines. Hancock announced new Tier 4 restrictions for several areas in the UK. 

GBP/USD is trading above 1.35 but off the highs amid Brexit headlines.