England may have a slightly lower R rate than Wales according to the most recent estimates.
It is important to bear in mind that this data will not have taken into account the affects of the fire-break lockdown.
These estimated come from the Welsh Government’s Technical Advisory Cell (TAC).
The latest estimate for England put the figure at between 1.1 and 1.3 which is a fall from 1.2-1-5 a week ago.
Over the summer it was very hard for experts and modellers to come up with an exact R number because there was so little of the virus in circulation.
However, it has now reached a point where the virus is so widespread that experts are now able to say with more certainty what the R rate is in Wales.
The TAG advice said: “Care should still be taken when interpreting Rt and growth rate estimates for the UK, due to their inherently lagged nature, and as these figures mask variation in the number of infections and how rates of transmission are changing in some parts of the country.”
They also said that “availability of testing may also be a constraint” on calculating the R rate amidst a UK-wide shortage of tests due to backlogs in the UK Government funded (but privately run) Lighthouse Labs.
The R number represents the amount of people each person with Covid-19 is infecting with the virus.
If that number goes above one, the number of people becoming infected with the virus will grow exponentially. but as long as it remains below one, the number of people infected with the virus will continue to fall.
Even if the R rate is falling, any figure above one is very bad news as it means that cases of the virus are growing exponentially.
What about the rest of the UK?
The Department of Health in England publishes the R number for every region once a week.
- East of England – 1.2 to 1.4
- London – 1.1 to 1.3
- Midlands – 1.2 to 1.4
- North East and Yorkshire – 1.1 to 1.3
- North West – 1 to 1.2
- South East – 1.2 to 1.4
- South West – 1.2 to 1.5
Scotland has a current range is between 1.3 and 1.6, which is down from 1 and 1.3.