The R number for coronavirus has fallen to between 0.9 and 1 for the first time since mid-August, which means the epidemic is thought to be no longer growing.
‘R’ is calculated by the government’s scientific advisers, and represents how many extra people each infected person passes the virus onto.
The aim is to keep R below 1 until a vaccine is rolled out.
The latest estimate of the growth rate of the virus has also fallen, to between -2% and 0%, which indicates that the number of new infections each day is coming down.
However, cases in some regions of England are still high, particularly the North West, the North East and Yorkshire and the Humber.
An R number between 0.9 and 1.0 means that on average every 10 people infected will infect between 9 and 10 other people, indicating it is shrinking.
With the four nations of the UK following different policies on restrictions, the government says the estimate for R for the whole of the UK has become “less meaningful in recent weeks”.