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Visitors wait in line at a mass vaccination centre in Brussels, Belgium

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THE B.1.1.7 coronavirus variant first spotted in the UK is poised to cause a surge in cases worldwide. In many areas of Europe and North America, the variant, which is more transmissible, is now responsible for most new coronavirus infections.

Globally, since late February there has been a small uptick in coronavirus infections. Before this, case numbers had been falling sharply. The big question is what happens next.

“In Italy, bars reopened in February and, combined with B.1.1.7, they are seeing a rise …