England’s R number falls as government prepares to lift Covid measures

·2-min read
 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

England’s R rate has fallen from last week and is currently estimated to be between 0.8 and 1.1.

It is down from last week when it was thought to be between 1.1 and 1.5.

An R value between 0.8 and 1.1 means that, on average, every 10 people infected will infect between 8 and 11 other people.

In London, the R number is 0.7 to 0.9.

It comes a day after the Government ended work from home guidance, as part of a wider curtailing of Plan B rules, as cases coronavirus continue to fall.

Big banks, advertising firms and insurers have all announced plans to return to the office after the government scrapped the guidance with immediate effect.

Ministers have been calling for people to return to offices and have ordered civil servants to return to Whitehall “as soon as possible”.

The Prime Minister told MPs on Wednesday that England was reverting to “Plan A” due to boosters and the success of the Covid measures which people had followed.

Mandatory face coverings in public places and Covid passports are also set to be both dropped.

Meanwhile, in London, mayor Sadiq Khan has announced he is standing down the “major incident” status after it was imposed on December 18.

He warned the city will remain on high alert due to the significant threat Covid and the Omicron variant still poses in the capital.

The decision to declare a “major incident” back in December was taken due to the rapid spread of the newly identified, a rise in hospital admissions and the impact this was having on NHS staff absences.

The mayor of London said the NHS and emergency services have “gone above and beyond during an extremely testing period” and everyone who followed the rules has “played in part” in reducing the pressure health services faced.

“But the virus and the Omicron variant is still with us and daily infection rates are still too high. That’s why we must all remain vigilant and continue to do the things that have allowed our city to reopen safely,” Mr Khan added.

He went on to call on the government to “rethink” its plans to remove the mandatory wearing of face masks.

“Wearing a face covering remains one of the single most important and easiest things we can all do to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and that’s why I’m renewing my calls for the government to rethink their plans and keep legislation in place to make them mandatory on public transport,” he said.

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