Covid-19: R Rate and Lockdown Measures

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:36 pm on 8th June 2020.

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Photo of Matthew Hancock Matthew Hancock Secretary of State for Health and Social Care 3:36 pm, 8th June 2020

The reason having the R below 1 is important is that that is the rate at which the number of new infections continues to fall. When R is below 1, the question is how fast it is falling. The number of new transmissions for each person who has the virus is currently, on average, less than one, so R is below 1 and therefore the number of infections is falling. We do not have a specific figure or target for R; we just want to keep it below 1 and we want to keep the number of new infections falling. Our response in the first instance to new outbreaks will be the local action we have been talking about for much of this session, and that is greatly to be preferred to a reinvigoration of the need for national lockdown.