Ontario has confirmed Canada’s first known cases of the UK coronavirus variant.

The province’s associate chief medical officer of health Dr. Barbara Yaffe made the announcement in a news release Saturday.

Officials said the cases involve a couple from Durham Region with no known travel history, exposure, or high-risk contacts. Both are now in self-isolation.

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“This further reinforces the need for Ontarians to stay home as much as possible and continue to follow all public health advice, including the provincewide shutdown measures beginning today,” Yaffe said.

“Durham Region Health Department has conducted case and contact investigation and Ontario is working in collaboration with our federal counterparts at the Public Health Agency of Canada.”

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The virus variant has already been detected in many countries beyond the UK including the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, and Australia, officials said.

Scientific director of Ontario’s #COVID19 Science Table advisory group tells Global News fact new Ontario cases of UK strain are due to community transmission suggests there’s a “high probability” there are more cases out there, stresses more important than ever to heed lockdown.

— Abigail Bimman (@AbigailBimman) December 26, 2020

The variant is believed to be more contagious, but it is not believed to cause more severe illness or resistance to the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, officials said.

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“With inbound international travel, it is not unexpected to have identified the new variant in Ontario,” government officials said in a news release.

Ontario reiterated calls for the federal government to implement testing at Pearson Airport.

“Regardless of whether federal support is forthcoming, the Ontario government is prepared to act on its own to implement an airport testing program,” officials said.

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