FIRST Minister Nicola Sturgeon said a new strain of coronavirus that has come from mink in Denmark is “causing concern” as the UK banned visitors from the country.

All non-British national or resident travellers who have been in Denmark at any point over the last two weeks will now be denied entry into the UK.

UK nationals, visa holders and residents returning from Denmark must isolate for 14 days along with their household “without exception”.

The move comes after the Danish government said a mutation of the coronavirus had been found in 12 people infected by minks.

Experts said the significance of any variant strain is not yet clear, but there are concerns it could limit the effectiveness of any potential vaccines.

Another 39 deaths from coronavirus were recorded in Scotland yesterday, an increase in eight from the previous day’s figure.

There were 1596 new cases, with a record-high number of tests reported at 29,644.

Figures also showed there are now 1245 people in hospital with confirmed coronavirus, up eight. Of those, 106 patients were in intensive care as of Friday night, also an increase of eight.

On Twitter, Sturgeon wrote: “A new strain of Covid that has come from mink in Denmark is causing concern.

“If you are a UK resident returning home from Denmark you – and your household – MUST isolate for 14 days.

“Visitors from Denmark are not able to enter the UK at all for now.”

The Danish travel restrictions will remain in place for one week and will then be reviewed.

Work will also be undertaken to contact individuals who have recently arrived in the country from Denmark in the last 14 days to provide further advice and guidance, the Scottish Government has said.

Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said: “These steps are a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of a variant strain of coronavirus which we are still in the early stages of learning about.

“The decision has been taken on clinical advice to help further safeguard public health and keep communities safe.”Scotland’s chief medical officer Dr Gregor Smith said:

“This is a new strain and it is appropriate that we err on the side of caution.

“We do not want to see transmission of this strain in this country.”

Yesterday the World Health Organisation said the minks were infected with the virus following exposure from infected humans.

The Danish government has ordered the cull of all 15 million minks bred in the country’s 1139 mink farms.

Ian Jones, professor of virology at University of Reading, said it was hard to comment on specifics regarding mutations as there does not appear to be any report or data on the mink mutation in the public domain.

But he said: “The danger is that the mutated virus could then spread back into man and evade any vaccine response which would have been designed to the original, non-mutated version of the spike protein, and not the mink-adapted version.

“Of course the mink version may not transmit well to man, so it’s a theoretical risk.”