England’s Covid R rate is now estimated to be between 0.7 and 1.0, government scientists have said.
This is potentially a slight fall from last week’s estimate which suggested it was between 0.8 and 1.0.
But in the week of England’s latest lockdown easing, which saw non-essential shops and beer gardens reopen, the R rate may have crept above 1 in London and the south-west.
R measures the number of people, on average, that each sick person will infect. If R is greater than 1 the epidemic is generally seen to be growing; if R is less than 1 the epidemic is shrinking.
Here’s what the R rate is in each region of England
In England, the R rate is 0.7 to 1.0.
East of England – 0.7 to 1.0 (unchanged)
London – 0.8 to 1.1 (up from 0.8 to 1.0)
Midlands – 0.7 to 1.0 (unchanged)
North-east and Yorkshire – 0.7 to 1.0 (unchanged)
North-west – 0.6 to 0.9 (down from 0.6 to 1.0)
South-east – 0.6 to 0.9 (down from 0.7 to 0.9)
South-west – 0.7 to 1.1 (up from 0.7 to 1.0)
The estimates are provided by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) and the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC).
Sage and DHSC said “particular care should be taken” when interpreting the regional estimates in England.
“They are based on low numbers of cases or deaths and/or dominated by clustered outbreaks. They should not be treated as robust enough to inform policy decisions alone,” they said.
Here’s what the R rate is in the devolved nations
In Scotland the latest figures estimate the R rate is unchanged, at between 0.8 and 1.0.
In Wales it is estimated to be 0.6 and 0.9, down from 0.7 to 0.9.
And in Northern Ireland, the latest figures suggest R is estimated to be between 0.95 and 1.4, up from 0.9 to 1.05.
Previously a UK-wide figure was published, but this has now been been dropped.
Sage said that, given the “increasingly localised approach” to managing the epidemic, “UK-level estimates are less meaningful than previously and may not accurately reflect the current picture”.