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Friday, December 2, 2022

London’s Covid R number falls as pandemic fears reach lowest level

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ondon’s Covid reproduction “R” number was estimated on Friday to be between 0.7 and 0.9, down slightly on the previous week, as a survey revealed people are less worried about the pandemic now than ever before.

The estimate means that the level of infection in the capital is reducing. An R number between 0.7 and 0.9 means that for every 10 people, they will on average infect between seven and nine other people.

Last week the R number was estimated at between 0.7 and 1.0.

Across England, the range is between 0.8 and 1.0, roughly steady compared to the previous week’s range of 0.7 to 1.0, the UK Health Security Agency said on Friday.

Separate figures from the Office for National Statistics showed England’s Covid-19 prevalence fell to one in 30 in the week ending February 26. The previous week it was one in 25.

ONS also released the findings from their latest Opinions and Lifestyle Survey, covering 16-27 February 2022.

It showed the number of people saying they were very or somewhat worried about the impact of Covid-19 has fallen to the lowest level since the start of the pandemic – 41 per cent of adults compared with 86 per cent between March 10-20, 2020.

Meanwhile working from home continued to decline, with 15 per cent of working adults saying they worked from home only. Over half (56 per cent) of working adults said they travelled to work and 13 per cent both travelled to work and worked from home.

Maintaining social distancing has fallen to the lowest level since the ONS began measuring this in September 2020, with a third (32 per cent) of adults reporting they always or often maintained social distancing.

The use of face coverings is decreasing, with 71 per cent of adults reporting always or often wearing face coverings while in shops and 70 per cent throughout the journey on public transport – down from 77 per cent and 78 per cent respectively from the previous 10-day period.

The findings are the first since the lifting of remaining Covid restrictions in England were lifted last month under the government’s “Living with Covid Plan”.

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