The coronavirus R number has fallen to between 0.8 and 1 across the UK, according to the Government Office for Science and the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage).
It is the first time the virus’s reproductive rate has fallen below 1 since early December, raising hopes the epidemic is slowing as lockdown measures take effect. Sage estimates the growth rate of the outbreak is now between -4 and 0 per cent.
Last week the R rate was estimated to be between 1.2 to 1.3. The latest figures mean that, on average, every person infected with Covid-19 will infect between 8 and 10 people.
In London the R number is even lower, at between 0.7 and 0.9, with an estimated growth rate between -7 and -3 per cent.