Sweden Confirms First Case of Variant Coronavirus in Visitor From UK

December 26, 2020 Updated: December 26, 2020

STOCKHOLM—The new variant of coronavirus linked to a rapid rise in infections in Britain has been detected in Sweden after a traveler from the United Kingdom became ill and tested positive, the Swedish Health Agency said on Saturday.

Health Agency official Sara Byfors told a news conference the traveler had been isolating and that no further positive cases had so far been detected.

The unidentified traveler was staying in Sormland, south of Stockholm, according to Signe Makitalo, a regional infection control doctor. The new variant is thought to be more transmissible than others currently circulating.

“The person that tested positive with the virus traveled to Sormland from Great Britain for a visit over Christmas,” Makitalo said, adding that the risk of further contagion from the case was considered extremely limited.

Sweden imposed travel restrictions earlier this month on passengers from Britain amid concerns over the variant. Similar measures have been taken by several other countries in the EU and across the world.

By Niklas Pollard