Coronavirus R rate falls BELOW ONE despite Boris plunging UK into lockdown tier system

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Figures from the Government Science Office (GSO) published today recorded the R rate now sits between 0.9 and 1.0. This is the first time the number was below 1 since September 4.

The R rate is the reproduction number of coronavirus transmission across the UK.

It measures the number of people, on average, that each sick person will infect.

This new figure means on average every 10 people infected will infect between nine and 10 other people.

If greater than one, the epidemic is seen to be growing but if less than one it is seen as shrinking.

Figures show the R rate for the various regions across the UK.

The North West has the lowest R rate at just 0.7 to 0.9.

The East of England, Midlands and South West all have an R rate between 0.9 and 1.1.

North East and Yorkshire has 0.8 to 1.0.

London and the South East are both above 1 at around 1.0 to 1.1.

This comes just hours after Boris Johnson and Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced the new tiers to come into effect from December 2.

However, the Government is expected to face backlash following the new figures from the GSO.

Announcing the new measures, Mr Hancock placed Greater Manchester and Lancashire in Tier 3 – the highest level – but placed London in Tier 2.

Judging from the new figures, London has a higher R rate than other cities and regions across the country.

Mr Hancock said the decisions were not “easy” to make “but they have been made according to the best clinical advice”.

He told MPs: “Thanks to the shared sacrifice of everyone in recent weeks, in following the national restrictions, we have been able to start to bring the virus back under control and slow its growth, easing some of the pressure on the NHS.

“We will do this by returning to a regional tiered approach, saving the toughest measures for the parts of the country where prevalence remains too high.

“Regardless of your tier, I ask everyone – we must all think of our responsibilities to keep the virus under control we should see these restrictions not as a boundary to push but as a limit on what the public advice says we can safely do in one area.”

Those in Tier 3 should not mix households indoors or in most outdoor places, which hospitality venues closing except for takeaway, drive-through or delivery.

People are also urged not to travel outside their area other than where necessary.

In Tier 2, only those in support bubbles can mix households, with the rule of six still applying outdoors.

Pubs and bars must close unless operating as restaurants while alcohol can only be served with substantial meals.

England is currently in its second lockdown which is expected to end on Deecember 2.

As soon as the lockdown is lifted, the new tier system will be implemented.

This is a breaking story. More to follow…



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