Northern Ireland's Department of Health has confirmed the presence of a new coronavirus strain in the region.
It says the new variant was found in a positive test on Wednesday.
Genome analysis had been carried out on a small number of suspected cases there, producing one positive result.
The department says the variant is likely to have been present in the North "for a period of time."
But it says there is no "current evidence" to suggest the new strain causes more serious illness or a higher mortality rate - or that it affects vaccines and treatments.
This new variant had been detected in increasing numbers in the south-east of England.
It has also led to a travel ban between Ireland and the UK until at least the New Year.
Stormont Health Minister Robin Swann said the confirmation underlines the need for everyone to "redouble our efforts to stop the virus spreading".
"This is sadly the confirmation we had been expecting.
"As I have stated from the outset of this pandemic, we have to avoid both panic and complacency.
"We all have to redouble our efforts to stop the virus spreading.
"We know how to do this – cut down our contacts with others, ensure strict social distancing, wash our hands regularly and thoroughly, and wear a face covering."
Earlier, the director of the National Virus Reference Laboratory Dr Cillian De Gascun said the new strain was present in Ireland based on preliminary data.
"Preliminary data would suggest, based on a selection of samples analysed from the weekend, that the novel variant from the UK is present in Ireland. "
"Given the timeline of the samples analysed, it would seem that the novel variant is not solely responsible for the recent increase in case numbers seen in Ireland."
He was speaking as there have been 13 additional deaths related to COVID-19 and 938 further confirmed cases of the virus in Ireland.
Some 300 cases are in Dublin, 110 in Cork, 72 in Limerick, 68 in Donegal and 41 in Kildare.
The remaining 347 cases are spread across 21 other counties.