UK COVID R number dips to 0.8-1.0, pandemic shrinking quicker

A man wearing a protective mask uses a phone at a bus stop, amidst the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in London, Britain December 3, 2020. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

LONDON (Reuters) - The estimated reproduction “R” number has dipped to between 0.8 and 1.0, down from 0.9-1.0 a week ago, government scientists said on Friday, adding that the pandemic was estimated to be shrinking quicker than before too.

An R number between 0.8 and 1.0 means 10 people with COVID-19 will on average infect between 8 and 10 other people.

The growth rate was between -3% and -1%, down from between -2% and 0% last week, indicating the number of new infections is shrinking between 1% and 3% each day.

Reporting by Alistair Smout; editing by Guy Faulconbridge