Vivid cases are on the rise in the UK and R rates are officially up as Christmas approaches

The UK’s official coronavirus R rate could be as high as 1.2 in some areas as infections continue to rise.

It comes as both professionals and Ministers have warned that a new Covid variant was found in five countries can come to the UK.

R rate has increased this week after holding steady at 0.8 to 1.0
R rate has increased this week after holding steady at 0.8 to 1.0

Around one in 65 Britons are now thought to be at fault, with infection rates still highest among school-age children.

R is currently between 1.0 and 1.1 and could be as high as 1.2 in South East and London.

This is an increase from 0.8 to 1.0, which it has held steady since November 12.

London and the South East had the highest rates, between 0.9 and 1.2, with East England, the Midlands, North East and Yorkshire and the South West all falling between 0.9 and 1.1.

The R ratio is lowest in the Northwest, where it ranges from 0.8 to 1.1.

This is in line with data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) which said the number of people who tested positive for the tick in the Northwest fell last week.

In the week to November 12, an estimated 824,900 people tested positive for the bug – this week the number has risen to 862,300.

Sarah Crofts, Head of Analytical Outputs of the Covid-19 Infection Survey today said the picture across the UK is mixed, with recent increases in Scotland and Northern Ireland combined with trends not certainly in England and Wales.

She said: “The picture of uncertainty across the UK is the result of different trends in different parts of the country and between people of different age groups.

“School-age children still have the highest levels of infection despite a downward trend over the past few weeks for secondary school-age children.

“It is too early to say whether the increase in Northern Ireland and Scotland will continue.”

As infections increase in the UK, experts have warned that Brits could see another round of lockdowns after a new variant emerges.

Variation, scientifically known as B.1.1.529, is yet to be confirmed in the UK, but has reached Belgium, Israel, Hong Kong, South Africa and Botswana.

It is the most evolved to date with 32 mutations, and Experts have warned.

Its power flared up all of a sudden ban flights from six countriess to the UK.

Professor Adam Finn, a member of the Joint Committee on Immunization and Immunization (JCVI), said more was needed to learn about this new variant.

Professor Finn said: “On the one hand, I don’t want to cause unnecessary anxiety in people, but on the other hand, I think we all need to be ready for the possibility of changing restrictions.”

He explained that it was too difficult to say whether the new variant could affect Christmas plans for Britons.

Professor Finn said that the increase in cases in South Africa could be related to the transmissibility of the variant.

“Now we need to wait and see what threat this new variant may pose.

“If we’re lucky, it won’t be a serious problem, but it can be very serious,” he added.

A No10 spokesman said “there is nothing in our current data to suggest that we need to move to Plan B”.

UK Covid cases are highest in a month and top 10 MILLION as 47,240 more people test positive and another 147 die

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Tom Vazquez

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