The UK’s coronavirus R (reproduction) rate has risen once again to between 1.1 and 1.3.
Last week the value reached 1.1 to 1.2.
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.
The figure is highest in the East of England and in London, with an R value of 1.2 to 1.5, which means every 10 people infected will infect between 12 and 15 further people.
The R value in England as a whole is 1.1 to 1.4, and is lowest in the north-east and Yorkshire, and in the north-west (0.9 to 11).
The data also suggested a growth rate of between 1% and 6%, which means the number of new infections is growing by between 1% and 6% every day.
The latest figures, published by the Government Office for Science and the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), come amid growing concerns of the spread of a mutant coronavirus strain, largely affecting London and the South East.
As many as 10,000 lorries are currently trapped in Kent after the border between the UK and France was closed for two days. France is now permitting travellers from the UK, but they must first test negative before crossing into mainland Europe – a logistical exercise that even the government admits could take several days to carry out.
Cases of Covid-19 have more than doubled in a week in some of the worst-hit areas of England. The region with the highest case rate in the country is currently Thurrock with a staggering 1,198.8 cases per 100,000 people