U.K. travellers are facing more restrictions due to a new variant of the virus spreading within the country, with the U.S. insisting Britons must have a negative Covid-19 test within 72 hours of departing the U.K. Russia will impose a two-week quarantine on travellers arriving from the U.K, and Hong Kong extended its mandatory quarantine for most visitors to three weeks.

Germany, Switzerland and Japan joined a growing number of countries that have identified their first cases of the coronavirus variant that has emerged in the U.K., which a study showed is 56% more transmissible than other strains, although there’s no clear evidence it results in more severe cases of the disease.

South Africa rejected claims that a mutated strain found in the country has contributed to a second wave of infections in the U.K. and criticized its decision to impose travel restrictions.

Beijing is advising its residents not to leave the city during the holidays due to a recent resurgence of infections. Japan is also asking people to stay home over New Year’s, and is considering changes to its virus law, such as fining bars and restaurants that don’t comply with instructions to close early.

(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.)

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