THE North-East and Yorkshire has the highest R rate for Covid in England, new figures reveal.

The latest UK-wide figures for R and the growth rate, which estimates how quickly the number of infections is changing day by day, are provided by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage).  

Released today, February 19, the latest R estimate for the whole of the UK is between 0.6 and 0.9, and the growth rate estimate for the UK is now between -6 per cent and -3 per cent. 

The lower end of the estimate is the lowest R range seen since the Government first started publishing the figures in May 2020.

Estimates of the R value are below 1 in all NHS regions of England, although the estimate for the North-East and Yorkshire has an upper bound of 1. 

This gives the region the highest R rate in England, showing how the epidemic appears to be shrinking slower in some areas compared to others. 

R represents the average number of people each Covid-19 positive person goes on to infect.

When the figure is above 1, an outbreak can grow exponentially, but when it is below 1, it means the epidemic is shrinking.

Nationally, the UK estimate of R is estimated to be below 1 and the estimated growth rate means the number of new infections is shrinking by between 3 per cent to 6 per cent every day. The latest R estimate for England remains between 0.7 and 0.9.  

However, change in the lower or upper bound of the estimated ranges alone does not constitute a change in R or growth rate.

If the ranges overlap between each week, this does not necessarily mean the R or growth rate has changed. A widening or narrowing of the range reflects a change in uncertainty.

Sage said: "Prevalence of the virus remains high, so it remains vital that everyone continues to stay at home in order to keep the R value down, protect the NHS and help save lives."

These estimates are based on the latest data, available up to 15 February, including hospitalisations and deaths, as well as symptomatic testing and prevalence studies.

Estimates represent the transmission of Covid-19 over the past few weeks.

Here's how regions compare:



Growth rate per cent per day     


0.6 to 0.9 

-6 per cent to -3 per cent 


0.7 to 0.9 

-6 per cent to -3 per cent  

East of England     

0.6 to 0.8 

-7 per cent to -4 per cent   


0.6 to 0.8 

-8 per cent to -5 per cent  


0.6 to 0.9 

-7 per cent to -3 per cent   

North East and Yorkshire     

0.7 to 1.0 

-5 per cent to -1 per cent 

North West     

0.6 to 0.9 

-7 per cent to -3 per cent 

South East      

0.6 to 0.8 

-9 per cent to -5 per cent 

South West     

0.6 to 0.9 

-7 per cent to -3 per cent