R rate now officially above 1 across UK

The R value of coronavirus transmission across the UK has officially risen above 1 for the first time since early March, increasing the risk that the number of new infections is spreading out of control.

Data released on Friday by the Government shows the estimate for the reproduction number – also known as the R Value – across the UK is now between 1.0 and 1.2.

R represents the average number of people each coronavirus patient goes on to infect. When the figure is above 1, an outbreak can grow exponentially.

In England, the figure is highest in London and the North West at between 1.1 and 1.3 in both regions.

It comes as the number of newly diagnosed cases continues to rise, with young people aged 18 to 24 particularly badly affected.

The growth rate of coronavirus transmission, which reflects how quickly the number of infections is changing day by day, has also increased slightly.

For the whole of the UK, the latest growth rate is between minus 1% and plus 3% per day. This means the number of new infections is somewhere between shrinking by 1% and growing by 3% every day.

The most likely value is towards the middle of the range, experts advising the Government say.

This is a breaking news story – more to follow

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