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COVID-19: England’s R number falls slightly to between 1.1 and 1.4

Written by on 30 July 2021

England’s R number has fallen slightly to between 1.1 and 1.4, official data shows.

Last week it was between 1.2 and 1.4.

England’s R number is highest in the East, where it is between 1.3 and 1.5. It is lowest in the North West (1.0 to 1.2).

The daily growth rate of coronavirus infections in England was estimated at between 2% and 5%, down on the previous week when it was between 4% and 6%.

Live COVID-19 updates from the UK and around the world

The figures, now produced by United Kingdom Health Security Agency, are updated every Friday.

An R value – or reproduction number – between 1.1 and 1.4 means that, on average, every 10 people infected with COVID-19 will go on infect between 11 and 14 other people.

Anything above 1 means the coronavirus outbreak is growing exponentially – but below 1 means the case rate is shrinking.

These estimates represent the transmission of COVID two to three weeks ago, due to the delay between someone being infected, developing symptoms, and needing healthcare.

This week’s regional breakdown for the R number (on the left) and infection growth rate (on the right) is as follows:

  • East of England 1.3 to 1.5 // 4% to 7%
  • London 1.2 to 1.5 // 4% to 6%
  • Midlands 1.1 to 1.4 // 2% to 6%
  • North East and Yorkshire 1.1 to 1.3 // 1% to 5%
  • North West 1.0 to 1.2 // 0% to 3%
  • South East 1.2 to 1.5 // 4% to 7%
  • South West 1.2 to 1.5 // 3% to 6%

The latest estimation comes as the Office for National Statistics (ONS) released its weekly infection survey.

The ONS data showed 856,200 people had coronavirus outside of hospital or a care home in England in the week ending 24 July – the equivalent of one in 65 people – which is an increase on the week before when the figure was one in 75 people.

The survey also shows that COVID positivity rates are highest in the North East of England – but are increasing in all regions – apart from the East and South West, where the trend is unclear.

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Earlier, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps defended France’s position on the UK’s ‘amber plus’ travel list, saying the decision was made due to cases of the Beta coronavirus variant in the north of the country.

On Wednesday, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the move was made because of the “prevalence of the so-called Beta variant, in particular in the Reunion bit of France” – a French island in the Indian Ocean.

But Mr Shapps told Sky’s Kay Burley the variant is also “an issue” in northern parts of the country.

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