Coronavirus 'R number' infection rate for across England revealed
The crucial coronavirus infection rate in the East of England is only just below 1, new figures show.
As lockdown is eased the government is tracking the 'R number' across the country to see how more freedom effects the spread of the virus.
The figure relates directly to how many people someone with Covid-19 is likely to spread the virus to – below 1 and the spread slowly decreases, above and it increases.
In the East of England, the figure is now 0.94, the third lowest in the country.
Only the north east and Yorkshire (0.89) and the Midlands (0.90) are lower, while London has a rate of 0.95.
It comes as scientists warned that we are moving out of lockdown too quickly after Boris Johnson's government allowed people to meet up in groups of six.
Many experts are worried the NHS' track and trace system for keeping tabs on infected people to curb further spread is not up to scratch and yesterday it was revealed it is not expected to be 'world class' until September.
Schools and businesses have also started opening and from Monday, June 15, shops will welcome back customers.
But throughout the public have been warned to maintain social distancing rules and that if the infection rate begins to exceed 1 lockdown measures will be put back in place.
According to the data released by Public Health England and the University of Cambridge the current research technique would not paint an accurate picture for more localised results but they plan to provide that over the coming weeks.
The figures also give the most accurate picture yet on how many more people are getting the virus and what the future may hold.
It estimates that across England there are 17,000 new infections each day but that deaths each day are likely to fall to between 100–250 by mid-June.
It adds: "There is some evidence that R has risen in all regions and we believe that this is probably due to increasing mobility and mixing between households and in public and workplace settings."