UK epidemic growing as R number goes above 1

Coronavirus infections have increased in recent weeks in the UK, according to new estimates.

The government’s latest R number is between 1 and 1.2, which means the epidemic is growing.

And a study of thousands of people in England found cases doubling every seven to eight days, with a marked rise in the north and among young people.

New laws on how many people can socialise indoors and outdoors are being introduced from Monday.

The ‘rule of six’ will ban gatherings of more than six people indoors in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The number of new daily confirmed UK cases of the virus has risen to 3,539 on Friday – an increase of more than 600 on yesterday.

It has also been announced that Birmingham will become the latest area to bring in new restrictions after a spike in cases.

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