Coronavirus new strain: Seven symptoms to watch out for this Christmas

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A support bubble is where someone who lives alone (or just with their children) can meet people from one other household.

New strain – everything we know so far

According to the Public Health England (PHE), the evidence shows that infection rates in geographical areas where this particular variant has been circulating have increased faster than expected, and the modelling evidence has demonstrated that this variant has a higher transmission rate than other variants in current circulation.

Backwards tracing using the genetic evidence suggests this variant emerged in September 2020 and then circulated at very low levels in the population until mid-November.

The increase in cases linked to the new variant first came to light in late November when PHE was investigating why infection rates in Kent were not falling despite national restrictions.

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