The snap lockdown of Greater Brisbane came into effect to stop the spread of a mutated strain of the virus first detected in the UK. It’s thought to be a particularly contagious variant.

So far, 45 countries have detected the B117 coronavirus variant, according to, which, among other things, tracks the global spread of the new COVID-19 strains.

Thirteen countries have recorded community transmission of the COVID-19 variant, which studies suggest could be up to 70 per cent more transmissible than earlier strains.

Cases have been recorded in European countries including Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Switzerland, Portugal and the Netherlands.

Outside of Europe, local transmission has been recorded in the United States, Canada, Israel and in the Philippines.

The first case detected in the United States was on December 29, in a man who had no travel history.

The new strain’s increased infectiousness is thought to be driving up case numbers up in the United Kingdom.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said, “this strain is likely to become [the] more dominant strain of the virus globally”.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has said the same, although she thought the strain shouldn’t be thought of as a “UK strain”.

“We have to assume that this strain will become the dominant strain and it is important to keep re-assessing our settings, keep staying vigilant and for the immediate future keep wearing our masks in those indoor settings,” she said.