Coronavirus R value creeps above 1 in London as lockdown rules to be eased

The coronavirus R value in London could be as high as 1.1, latest figures show as the capital prepares to further ease lockdown measures on ‘Super Saturday’.

In London, the R rate was between 0.8 and 1.1, up from 0.6 and 0.9 previously, Government data released on Friday suggests.

It comes as pubs and bars across England prepare for Brits to flock through their doors as they reopen on Saturday .

The current rate of transmission for Covid-19 for the country as a whole remains at less than one.

The R value – the number of people each Covid-19 positive person goes on to infect – is sitting at between 0.7 and 0.9.

R estimates do not indicate how quickly an epidemic is changing and different diseases with the same R can result in epidemics that grow at very different speeds.

There is also variation in the figures from region to region.

While London’s could be as high as 1.1, in the South West the R rate grew to between 0.7 and 1 from 0.6 to 0.9.

The R values and growth rate elsewhere are:

  • East of England: 0.7 to 0.9, minus 5% to 0% – this compares with 0.6 to 0.9 and growth of minus 6% to 0%.
  • Midlands: 0.8 to 1, with an unchanged growth rate of minus 4% to 0%.
  • North East and Yorkshire: 0.8 to 1, minus 5% to 0% – this compares with R of 0.7 to 0.9 and growth of minus 4% to 0% last week.
  • North West: 0.7 to 0.9, minus 4% to 0%. This is a slight drop compared with 0.7 to 1 and growth of minus 5% to 0% previously.
  • South East: 0.7 to 1, minus 5% to 0% – up slightly from 0.7 to 0.9 and growth of minus 6% to minus 1%.

Data also showed the growth rate of Covid-19 transmission in the UK has risen slightly in the last week.

It revealed the growth rate has risen to between minus 6 per cent and 0 per cent per day compared with a rate of minus 4 per cent to minus 2 per cent per day last week.

The growth rate reflects how quickly the number of infections is changing day by day and, as the number of infections decreases, is a more reliable way of keeping track of the virus.

If the growth rate is greater than zero, and therefore positive, then the disease will grow, and if the growth rate is less than zero, then the disease will shrink.

London’s growth rate rose from between minus 6 per cent and 0 per cent to between minus 4 per cent and plus 2 per cent, suggesting the rate of spread of Covid-19 is growing in the capital.

In the South West, the growth rate rose from between minus 7 per cent to 0 per cent to between minus 7 per cent and plus 2 per cent – again indicating the rate of spread of the disease is growing in the area.

Evening Standard – London