The R number monitoring coronavirus infection rates may have increased to 1.2 across the UK, according to new research.
The latest Government figures suggest the R rate is between 0.9 and 1.1.
But research released by the Covid-19 Symptom Study app – which has been endorsed by both the Scottish and Welsh government, NHS Wales and NHS Scotland – suggests a ‘worrying trend’ has developed over the last few days.
It reported slightly higher figures of 1.2 for England, Scotland and Wales, and 1.3 for Northern Ireland.
The spread of the virus has prompted the enforcement of a local lockdown in Caerphilly, Wales after 98 cases were recorded in the last week.
Restrictions in Bolton, Greater Manchester have tightened on hospitality venues which will be required to close from 22:00 to 5:00.
The research, led by professor of genetic epidemiology Dr Tim Spector from King’s College London, is part of a self-monitoring app created by doctors and scientists working with health science company ZOE.
The ‘largest public science project of its kind anywhere in the world’ hosts more than 4 million users who regularly self-report on the app about their health.
The collected data has been used to study symptoms, predict who has the virus, and track the spread of infection rates across the country.
According to the app’s latest figures, there are now more than 2,924 new daily cases across the UK. Around 30,949 people are expected to display symptoms of Covid-19.
For the first time since the middle of June, the app reported daily new cases have risen above 2,500.
It corroborates government data released on Sunday which saw a total of 2,988 cases recorded, the largest since May 22.
The news comes after health secretary Matt Hancock announced social gatherings of more than six people will become illegal on Monday in a bid to prevent a second wave.
Britain could be facing a nationwide curfew as ministers have been reported to consider banning people from going out after 10pm or 11pm.
The new restrictions will not apply to workplaces, schools, funerals, and organised team sports, providing social distancing guidelines are being followed.
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