England coronavirus R number rises to between 1.2 and 1.5

9 July 2021, 15:24

England's R number saw an increase to between 1.2 and 1.5.
England's R number saw an increase to between 1.2 and 1.5. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

England's coronavirus R number has risen to between 1.2 and 1.5, official figures show.

The value means that, on average, every 10 people infected will infect between 12 and 15 other people.

Last week, the figure - which tracks the Covid infection rates - was between 1.1 and 1.3.

Government figures also showed that the growth rate of the virus currently stands between 3 per cent and 7 per cent, meaning the number of infections is increasing by that amount every day.

Read more: Doctor's stark warning on Long-Covid's 'devastating impact' for younger people

This comes as new data revealed that the percentage of people testing positive for Covid-19 is estimated to have increased in all regions of England.

The latest estimates from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed around one in 160 people in private households in England had Covid-19 in the week to 3 July - up from one in 260 in the previous week.

This was the highest level since the week to 19 February.

An increasing number of people have been told to isolate by the NHS app too, with a rise of 62 per cent in one week.

The app is set to be tweaked to take into account those who have been vaccinated.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson's official spokesman said: "The Prime Minister has been clear that he continues to use it."

"A large number of the population continues to use the app and it has been an important tool in getting people to isolate and break the chain of transmission.

"It is important that people continue to isolate if they are asked to do so. We continue to ask people to isolate if they are asked to through the app."

Read more: Health Secretary looking at 'proportionate' solution to Covid app isolation 'pings'

Meanwhile, step four of the government's roadmap out of lockdown is soon set to be introduced, with social distancing and the legal obligation to wear face masks confirmed to come to an end on 19 July.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid has already warned that cases could rise much higher than 50,000 after that date.

However, it is hoped a "significant weakening" of the link between cases, hospitalisations and deaths will make a difference.

Boris Johnson has said he sees 19 July as the "terminus point", but warned that the government will retain "contingency measures" due to a potential resurgence in winter.