New 'Yorkshire' Covid variant under Government investigation as 49 cases confirmed
Health officials are investigating a new Covid variant which has been identified in the Yorkshire and the Humber region.
Public Health England has been monitoring the VUI-21MAY-01 variant since April.
PHE said there was "no evidence that this variant causes more severe disease or renders the vaccines currently deployed any less effective."
So far, 49 initial cases of the variant have been confirmed, which is "based on an unusual mutation profile".
Additional testing and tracing is being carried out, the agency said.
Public Health England said: "We are carrying out increased laboratory testing to better understand the impact of the mutations on the behaviour of the virus.
"All appropriate public health interventions are being undertaken, including additional contact tracing and targeted testing.
"Where cases have been identified, additional follow-up of cases, testing of contacts and targeted case finding will limit the spread of variants."
Further information will be provided in a PHE report published later today.