England’s Covid R rate has risen slightly to between 0.8 and 1.0, scientists advising the government have said.
R measures the number of people, on average, that each sick person will infect.
Regional figures show R might now be above 1 in London, the south-west and east of England.
It comes at the end of the second week of outdoor hospitality and non-essential shops having reopened.
Last week the nation-wide figure was estimated to be between 0.7 and 1.0, with just London and the south west potentially having an R number above 1.
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 0.8 to 1.0 (slightly up from 0.7 to 1.0)
East of England – 0.8 to 1.1 (up from 0.7 to 1.0)
London –0.8 to 1.1 (unchanged)
Midlands – 0.7 to 0.9 (down from 0.7 to 1.0)
North-east and Yorkshire – 0.7 to 1.0 (unchanged)
North-west – 0.7 to 0.9 (up from 0.6 to 0.9)
South-east – 0.7 to 0.9 (0.6 to 0.9)
South west – 0.7 to 1.1 (unchanged)
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 between 0.7 and 0.9, down from 0.8 to 1.0.
In Wales it is estimated to be between 0.7 and 1.2, up from 0.6 to 0.9.
And in Northern Ireland, the latest figures suggest R is estimated to be 0.70 to 1.05, down from from 0.95 to 1.4.
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”.
In separate documents also published on Friday, Sage said the vaccination programme will so far only have had a “relatively small impact” on transmission as on average, older people have comparatively fewer contacts.
“As vaccines reach younger age groups, who tend to have the most contacts per participant in social contact surveys, there is a greater impact on population-wide transmission and further increases in active work and leisure contacts are possible without leading to large increases in R,” the scientists said.
Boris Johnson has said he has “no doubt” the UK was “continuing to make progress” against the disease and the roadmap of unlocking the country remained on track.
But he used a press conference earlier this week to warn that the “majority of scientific opinion” was “still firmly of the view that there will be another wave of Covid at some stage this year”.