England’s R number rises slightly to between 1 and 1.2

England’s R number has risen slightly to between 1 and 1.2.

Last week, the figure stood at between 1 and 1.1.

COVID infections in England are growing at a rate of between 0% and 3% per day, the same as last week, the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) said.

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The revised R number indicates that on average every 10 people infected will infect between 10 and 12 others.

When the figure is above 1, an outbreak can grow exponentially but when it is below 1, it means the epidemic is shrinking.

The latest official estimates have also seen COVID-19 cases in the community in England rocketing by 76.5% in just one week.

Around one in 640 people in private households had COVID-19 in the week to 29 May – up from one in 1,120 in the previous week, said the Office for National Statistics.

This is the highest level since the week to 16 April and represents a 76.5% increase.

The figures are likely to be among the data considered by the prime minister as he decides on whether to drop the last coronavirus restrictions on 21 June.

Boris Johnson is under pressure to press ahead with the unlocking – dubbed “freedom day” by some – following the successful rollout of vaccines.

However, concerns are mounting about the spread of the Indian variant, also known as the Delta variant, which is more transmissible.