ngland’s “R” number is estimated to have risen to between 1.0 and 1.2, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has said.
It comes just a day after the UK’s daily infections passed the 50,000 mark as ministers faced pressure to introduce fresh restrictions.
An R number between 1.0 and 1.2 means that for every 10 people infected, they will on average infect between 10 and 12 other people. Any R rate above one means the epidemic is growing.
Last week R was estimated between 0.9 and 1.1. The daily growth of infections was estimated between +1 per cent and +3 per cent, up from -1 per cent and +2 per cent the previous week.
UKHSA said regional estimates of R and growth rate had been paused while it investigated the impact of incorrect negative PCR test results on estimates in the South West, South East and London following an issue in a lab, which was suspended last week.
Separate statistics showed that 1 in 55 people in private households in England had Covid in the week to October 16 – up from one in 60 the previous week.
At the peak of the second wave in early January, around one in 50 were estimated to have the virus.