What is the current R rate in my area? How to track it every day – The Sun

THE "R" rate has become an essential way of the government measuring its success in dealing with coronavirus in the UK.

It measures the rate of infection that averages how many people are being infected by one person, with officials using this data to guide the UK out of lockdown.

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What is the R rate in your area?

The R rate indicates how fast coronavirus is likely to spread, and it varies across the UK.

On July 10,NHS England revealed the latest value in each region.

These showed a drop from 0.8-1.1 to 0.7 to-0.9 for London, while South West rose to 0.7-1.1, South East dropped top between 0.7 and 1.0 and Midlands also saw an increased upper limit to 1.

But North West saw a slight rise from the previous figure of 0.7-0.9 t0 0.70-1.0

Professor Keith Neal, an expert in epidemiology and infectious disease at the University of Nottingham, said: "As the number of cases falls everybody's risk falls."

The rates have risen and fallen often in recent weeks with Education Secretary Gavin Williamson saying the R rate was under 1.0 across the board on June 9, only for regions like South West to rise to 1.1 three days later.

Why is the R rate different across the UK?


While this is difficult to measure, a number of reasons could come into play here, among them the fact the R rate will tend to be higher in places with higher population densities, like large cities such as London.

Certain places which saw a large number of coronavirus cases may now also have a large number of people with immunity to the virus, while cities will also tend to have more care homes and hospitals which will affect the numbers.

There are also differences in how people live together, with people usually living in bigger family groups outside the large cities.

Similarly, places with higher levels of deprivation and poverty will affect the R rate as well.

How to track the R rate every day

The Government are now producing regular R rate updates, after publishing their first on June 12.

Previously, the only data seen publicly was from Public Health England and researchers at the University of Cambridge, who regularly nowcast and forecast Covid-19 infections and deaths. 

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What is the optimum R rate?

As of Juky 10 the so-called "R number" is between 0.8 and 1.0 in England — it needs to be kept below one.

Below R1 is the important bit because it means the virus will likely peter out.

The R rate needs to be below 1 for the UK to move out of lockdown.

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