Finland reports cases of both UK and South Africa coronavirus variants

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Finland has become the latest country to confirm the presence of two new coronavirus variants - one stemming from the UK and the other from South Africa.

Health officials say that one person has tested positive for VUI-202012/01 - the new variant that was discovered in the UK.

Finland imposed travel restrictions earlier this month on passengers from Britain amid concerns over the new variant, which is thought to be up to 70% more transmissible - meaning it can spread much faster than the original version.

Two people have also tested positive for the second variant which spread in South Africa.

Finland has confirmed almost 35,137 cases of the coronavirus and 546 deaths since the pandemic began.

The Nordic country's double-blow follows reports South Korea had also confirmed the presence of the variant first reported in the UK.

The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said it had been seen in three people who arrived in South Korea from London on 22 December.

South Korea has confirmed 57,680 cases of the coronavirus and 819 deaths since COVID-19 first took hold.

The variant has also been confirmed on the Portuguese island of Madeira, with UK arrivals again blamed for the spread.

Two people in the Canadian province of Ontario have been confirmed as infected with the variant, although they had no known travel history, exposure or high-risk contact.

Japan's first cases included a man who had visited the UK and a member of his family, while Sweden reported a case in a traveller from the UK who fell ill upon arrival and later tested positive for the variant, before going into isolation.

A case in France is a French citizen who lives in England and had left London for Tours on 19 December. He is self-isolating at home and is said to be doing fine.

Spain reported its first case of the variant on Saturday, although no further details have yet been revealed.

Other cases have also been confirmed in Denmark, Italy, Gibraltar, the Netherlands, and Australia.

Dozens of countries around the world have placed restrictions on travellers from the UK since the variant was identified in southeast England.

While it is believed to spread faster, there is no evidence so far that the new variant causes more serious illness or is able to evade any of the vaccines that have been approved for use in recent weeks.