British lawmakers have been briefed about a new variant of coronavirus growing faster in some parts of England.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said at least 60 different local authorities had recorded Covid infections caused by the new variant.
He said the World Health Organization had been notified and UK scientists were doing detailed studies.
He said there was nothing to suggest it caused worse disease or that vaccines would no longer work.
He told MPs in the House of Commons that over the last week, there had been sharp, exponential rises in the virus across London, Kent, parts of Essex and Hertfordshire.