THE UK’s coronavirus R rate has risen again as Prime Minister Boris Johnson presses pause on lifting lockdown restrictions.
The reproduction rate is now between 0.8 and 0.9 in the UK, creeping up slighting from last week’s rate of 0.7 to 0.9, according to the latest figures from Sage.
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Across England the R rate has stayed the same whereas places such as the North West and South West are creeping above the crucial 1 figure.
Despite this Sage has said it does not have the confidence that the R rate is below 1 in England after the easing of lockdown caused daily new infections to double.
On the back of this data Mr Johnson this afternoon said we needed to “squeeze the break pedal” on further lifting of the lockdown restrictions.
The North West now sits between 0.8 – 1.1 as does the South West.
Last night some areas in the North of England were subjected to further restrictions after data revealed a rise in cases.
In the South East and London the rate sits between 0.8 and 1.
This is while in the East of England the rate is between 0.7-1.0.
In the Midlands the rate is between 0.7-0.9.
The latest estimate of R is 0.8 to 1 but it is based on data that is a couple of weeks old.
The figure was published this afternoon but comes with a warning saying: “These estimates represent the transmission of COVID-19 from several weeks ago due to a time delay between someone being infected and needing healthcare.
“Estimates that use more timely data reflecting infections, suggest a higher R for England than shown here. As a result, SAGE does not have confidence that R is currently below 1 in England.”
The “R” rate has become an essential way of the government measuring its success in dealing with coronavirus in the UK.
It measures the rate of infection that averages how many people are being infected by one person, with officials using this data to guide the UK out of lockdown.
What does R rate mean?
R0, or R nought, refers to the average number of people that one infected person can expect to pass the coronavirus on to.
Scientists use it to predict how far and how fast a disease will spread – and the number can also inform policy decisions about how to contain an outbreak.
For example, if a virus has an R0 of three, it means that every sick person will pass the disease on to three other people if no containment measures are introduced.
It’s also worth pointing out that the R0 is a measure of how infectious a disease is, but not how deadly
The R rate indicates how fast coronavirus is likely to spread, and it varies across the UK.
Separate figures from the ONS show there were 0.78 new infections per 10,000 people a day in the week ending July 26 – equal to 4,200 a day.
But this is more than double the rate of 0.34 in the week ending June 21, when infections were at their lowest.
Speaking at a press conference this afternoon Mr Johnson said he would “not let the virus threaten more heartache across the country”.
He today announced that some businesses that were set to open tomorrow will no longer be able to open their doors.
Place such as casinos and bowling alleys will no longer be able to reopen and this guidance will be updated in two weeks.
The Prime Minister also said that he “wasn’t willing to take the risk” when it comes to wedding restrictions.
“Wedding receptions of up to 30 people will not be permitted, but ceremonies can go ahead with the Covid guidlines”, he said.
He did however say that shielding rules will still be relaxed from tomorrow, allowing more vulnerable people to get back to normal life.
Mr Johnson said the government would study the data and would “re-open when we can”.
However chief medical officer Chris Whitty said we are likely to be at the limit of what we can do when it comes to opening up society once more.