A growing number of countries are banning travelers from the United Kingdom after a new coronavirus variant was found there.
A variant or mutation happens when the genetic structure of a virus changes and this is common.
The variant first appeared in September. Health experts have found it is more infectious than the original virus.
“Let me tell you what, there is no evidence of nor reason to believe, it is not any more lethal or any more dangerous than the normal coronavirus, no evidence to suggest that, no reason to believe it,” said Admiral Brett Giroir, Assistant Secretary for Health at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
The variant has already been found in Australia, Denmark, South Africa and the Netherlands. Italy reports it has at least one patient infected with the mutation.
While the U.K. works to control the new variant, several countries have banned flights coming from there, as well as countries where they've seen such infections.
Despite the mutation, health officials remain adamant that it's important to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
“There is also no evidence to suggest nor reason to believe that it would evade our vaccines that we have right now. Remember, our vaccines developed antibodies against multiple parts of that spiked protein, not just one that's the mutated one, so we are very encouraged about that,” said Giroir.
A U.S. travel ban that began in March regarding the U.K. is still in place.