England’s Covid R rate has risen to between 1.2 and 1.4, scientists advising the government have said.
Official figures published on Friday showed a significant increase on last week’s R, which was between 1.0 and 1.2.
It comes amid growing speculation that Boris Johnson will delay the final lifting of Covid restrictions planned for June 21.
The prime minister will make an announcement on Monday about whether to go ahead, amid fears that a third wave driven by the Delta variant is under way.
R measures the number of people, on average, that each sick person will infect.
If R is greater than 1 the epidemic is generally seen to be growing; if R is less than 1 the epidemic is shrinking.
If R is at 1, the epidemic is staying at the same size.
An R of between 1.2 and 1.4 means every ten people with Covid will infect between 12 and 14 other people.
Here’s what the R rate is in each region of England
In England, the R rate is between 1.2 and 1.4 (up from 1.0 and 1.2)
East of England – 1.1 to 1.4 (up from 1.0 to 1.2)
London – 1.1 to 1.4 (up from 1.0 to 1.2)
Midlands – 1.1 to 1.3 (up from 1.0 to 1.2)
North-east and Yorkshire – 1.0 to 1.2 (up from 1.0 to 1.1)
North-west – 1.3 to 1.5 (up from 1.0 to 1.3)
South-east – 1.1 to 1.4 (up from 1.0 to 1.2)
South west – 1.0 to 1.3 (up from 0.8 to 1.1)
The estimates are provided by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) and the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC).
Sage and DHSC said “particular care should be taken” when interpreting the regional estimates in England.