Friday 17 July 2020 11:35 am

London's R rate could be as high as 1.1

London’s R rate could be as high as 1.1, according to the government’s Sage advisory group.

The R rate – the reproduction rate of the virus – is between 0.8 and 1.1 in the capital as the government continues to ease lockdown measures. It stands at 0.7 and 0.9 in the rest of the UK, Boris Johnson said today.

Read more: England lockdown: Guidance on public transport and workplaces to be relaxed

Coronavirus infections in London could also be increasing at a rate of two per cent, Sage warned. But they could also be decreasing, with Sage publishing a range of minus three per cent to plus two per cent growth.

Both London and the south west’s R rates could have risen above one, the scientific body said today.

The east of England’s R rate is somewhere between 0.8 and 1 while the Midlands, south east and north west could also have hit one.

Just three regions of England – the Midlands, North East and Yorkshire and north west – are definitely seeing a decline in coronavirus infections, according to Sage’s statistics.

The data was published today as the Prime Minister committed to a further easing of England’s lockdown.

He said guidance on using public transport will be relaxed, while he will ask employers to decide whether staff can return to offices safely from 1 August.

Read more: Boris Johnson announces plans to allow local coronavirus lockdowns

“If employers think it would be better and more productive to come into the office and if they can work in a covid-secure way in the office then there should be discussions between employers and employees and they should take a decision,” Johnson said.

“People have discovered lots of ways of working in the last few months. New patterns of work are emerging and companies are seeing opportunities to do things differently.”

More to follow.