WHO in touch with UK on COVID-19 variant, seeks clearer picture

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Outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in London

ZURICH (Reuters) - The World Health Organization is in close contact with British officials over a new COVID-19 virus variant, it said on Sunday, advising people to be on guard against spreading the disease.

Several European countries placed restrictions on travel to and from the United Kingdom due to concern over the new strain, which is spreading rapidly there.

"We are in close contact with UK officials. They will continue to share information and results of their analysis and ongoing research. We will update the public and member states as we learn more, and have a clearer picture of the characteristics of this variant," the WHO said.

"In the meantime, we advise people to take all protective measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and comply with national authorities' guidance."

(Reporting by Michael Shields)