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R number for UK above 1 as speed of coronavirus transmission rises

Written by on 11 September 2020

The rate of COVID-19 transmission has risen above a critical level that means the infection is growing exponentially, official figures show.

According to the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), the latest estimate for R across the UK is between 1.0 and 1.2.

The number represents the average number of people each person with coronavirus goes on to infect.

Meanwhile, the number of newly diagnosed cases continues to rise, with higher incidence seen in young people aged 18 to 24 years.

The last time the reproduction rate was above one was in early March.

It is understood that schools and universities are expected to cause a further increase in the spread of COVID-19.

The updated R figure comes as a ban on gatherings of more than six people is due to come into force in a bid to curb the spread of the coronavirus, while households will be barred from meeting each other in Birmingham, Sandwell and Solihull after a spike in cases.