The R-number is a way of rating coronavirus or any other viral infection’s ability to spread around the population. R is the number of people that one infected person will pass a virus on to next, on average. Scientists cannot capture the moment people are infected, but instead work out the numbers using the R-rate. Data, such as the number of people dying, being admitted to hospital or testing positive for Covid over time, is used to estimate how easily and quickly the virus is spreading among the country.
What is the R number?
Currently, the R-number or rate of infection in the UK is between 0.7 and 0.9, according to Government scientific advisers.
The fact it stands under one for the whole country is a good thing, and it has dropped significantly in recent months.
But when you break down region-by-region in the UK, some parts of the country still have worryingly high rates.
England’s northeast and Yorkshire has an upper bound of one.