A novel SARS-CoV-2 variant, VOC 202012/01 (also known as 'lineage B.1.1.7'), emerged in southeast England in November 2020. A pre-print suggest that the variant is more transmissible than preexisting Sars-CoV-2 variants.
We estimate that VOC 202012/01 is 56% more transmissible (95% credible interval across three regions 50-74%) than preexisting variants of SARS-CoV-2.
Another variant under concern is 501.V2, which was first detected in South Africa and reported by the country's health department on 18 December 2020. The COVID-19 South African Online Portal has suggested that the aforementioned variant is driving an increase of new cases:
The evidence that has been collated, therefore, strongly suggests that that the current second wave we are experiencing is being driven by [501.V2].