Covid R-rate is now above 1 across all parts of England as Freedom Day looms

Boris Johnson’s plans to release England from lockdown took another blow today as the latest R-rate suggests the spread of Covid is increasing.

The most recent government figures put the reproduction number at between 1 and 1.2.

It was estimated to be between 1 and 1.1 last week – the highest range since mid-January.

The R number represents the average number of people each Covid-19 positive person goes on to infect. When the figure is above 1, an outbreak can grow exponentially but when it is below 1, it means the epidemic is shrinking.

An R number between 1 and 1.2 means that, on average, every 10 people infected will infect between 10 and 12 other people.

The figures for R and the growth rate are provided by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage).

The growth rate, which estimates how quickly the number of infections is changing day by day, is between zero and 3% for England.

It means that the number of new infections could be broadly flat or growing by up to 3% every day.

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