Even without a greater mortality risk, more contagious variants increase the pressure on officials to vaccinate the population - a campaign many state and local officials have said has been slow and chaotic and one Biden has pledged to improve.
The new United Kingdom variant comprises a significant number of the our cases.
In contrast to that uncertainty, Vallance said, there is growing confidence that the variant is more easily passed on than the original coronavirus strain.
Johnson also warned that the coronavirus variant first identified in Britain may be more deadly than the older variant.
The emergence of several, more infectious strains of the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 has anxious governments and scientists, who are investigating how and why the virus became more transmissible.
"At the moment we are not alarmed about that", Collins said, given that vaccines still appeared effective against it.
Johnson, however, noted that the vaccines now in use were effective against the old and new coronavirus variants. Many countries have closed their borders to travelers from Britain, and the United Kingdom has halted flights from Brazil and South Africa.
The new strain of coronavirus first identified in Kent, England, is thought to be up to 70 per cent more transmissible. "We are somewhat more concerned about a South African variant".
Britain has recorded 95,981 deaths among people who tested positive for the coronavirus, the highest confirmed total in Europe.
Currently, the G strain of coronavirus is dominant worldwide, especially in countries like Italy and many European countries.
The UK on Saturday reported 33,552 new confirmed coronavirus cases and an additional 1,348 deaths.
"We will have to live with coronavirus in one way or another for a long while to come", he said, adding that "it's an open question" when measures could be eased.
"It would be a hugely damaging policy measure and for that I think the Government needs to think very very carefully before they do something that deliberately hurts the economy".