The British capital faces tougher coronavirus measures within days, the UK government said on December 14. This comes with a new coronavirus variant emerging as a possible cause for rapidly rising infection rates. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said London, and parts of three surrounding counties, would move into the highest of three levels of restrictions in force across England from December 16. England's Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty stressed there was no evidence that the variant is more dangerous, infectious or able to evade testing, reported AFP. Meanwhile, The World Health Organisation is aware of reports that a new variant of COVID-19 has been identified in the United Kingdom. WHO Health Emergencies Programme Executive Director Mike Ryan on December 14 said there is no evidence to suggest that the mutation will impact the effectiveness of vaccines against the disease.