The UK’s Covid-19 ‘R’ rate may now be below 1.0, the UK’s health security agency said today, suggesting coronavirus cases may no longer be growing exponentially.
The health authority said that the estimated range for the ‘R’ rate, which measures how many people a person with Covid is likely to infect, is now between 0.8 and 1.0.
Last week the range was 0.8 to 1.1.
That means that for every 10 people infected, they will on average infect between 8 and 10 other people.
In recent weeks new cases of the disease appear to have plateaued around the 30,000 a day mark, despite concerns that lifting Covid restrictions could trigger a major surge in infections.
According to the Office for National Statistics, around one in 75 people in England had the disease last week, the same as the week before.
Estimates suggest “an overall decreasing trend over the past two weeks”, the ONS said.
Seventy-five per cent of people in the UK have now received both doses of the vaccine, and from next week those who have been double-vaccinated will not need to isolate if they come into contact with a positive Covid case.
The changes, which also apply to children under the age of 18, will mark an end to the so-called pingdemic as fully-jabbed Brits will be able to return to work and school and meet friends and family even if they are pinged by the NHS app.
Instead of self-isolating, people will be advised to get a free PCR test as soon as possible.