Boris Johnson urged pub fans not to “do too much” this weekend, as police chiefs warned that the British could be limited to just two hours of drinking.
Bars and restaurants in England will be allowed to open for the first time in three months tomorrow on what has been dubbed “Super Saturday”.
At a press conference tonight, the Prime Minister will appeal to the public at the last minute to act sensibly or risk a return to lockout.
Johnson said the success of the business reopening, “the livelihoods of those who depend on them and, ultimately, the economic health of the whole country depend on each of us acting responsibly.”
He will add, “We must not let them down. Just like when we closed for the first time, we will only be able to reopen if everyone works together. Because we are not out of the woods yet.
The Prime Minister will also say: ‘[The] virus is still with us and the pic in Leicester showed it. If it starts to lose control again, the government will not hesitate to brake and re-impose the restrictions. “
This means that life after the foreclosure will be unlike anything Britain has seen before. From talking about your own cutlery in restaurants to banning from singing in pubs, the Mail gives you a detailed guide to all the do’s and don’ts for your big day as Britain reopens, but unlike anything you’ve ever seen before.
Weddings and civil partnerships can take place from tomorrow, but the number is limited to 30 people. The tradition of the father of the bride walking his daughter down the aisle was also excluded
What is happening?
Restaurants, cafes, pubs and bars can all reopen from tomorrow, with indoor and outdoor seating options – subject to distance guidelines – allowed. Bookings in popular places go quickly, with some offering deals, discounts and free drinks to keep guests coming back.
What to expect:
You will need to book most places, even pubs, with two or three hour slots available. Table service only, with different groups spaced at least one meter apart, strictly enforced queue systems and unidirectional arrows on the ground.
Groups of more than two households are prohibited, but you can meet in groups of six if you are dining outside. Places that were previously only indoors have invested in picnic tables and outdoor garden lighting, while some have installed plastic dining marquees and even “bubbles”.
The order and payment will be made without cash and customers must leave the full contact details of the site for 21 days for tracking purposes. Cutlery and condiments will not be placed on the tables.
Some sites even suggest that customers bring their own. The menus will be limited and there will be no live music.
Restaurants, cafes, pubs and bars can all reopen from tomorrow, with indoor and outdoor seating options – subject to distance guidelines – allowed. Pictured: outdoor meal capsules designed for social distancing at The Barn restaurant, Terrington St. John, Norfolk.
What is happening?
Discretionary reopening of all hotels, guesthouses, holiday apartments, caravans and campsites of tomorrow. The only exception is dormitories in youth hostels.
There are many offers and discounts on stays in the UK and stays in Europe as the locations encourage customers to return. The owners are also authorized to visit second homes.
What to expect:
Health questionnaires before arrival, full payment upon booking and, in many cases, digital recordings (via tablet or app). Face masks are not mandatory but some places will ask you to wear them in common areas.
Many halls will be equipped with digital temperature scanners to check the health of customers. Availability will be limited, with some sites quarantining rooms up to 72 hours between guests.
There will be no mini-bar or reusable toiletries. Upon arrival, you will receive sealed packs containing disposable essentials.
Some European hotels are installing electrostatic mists and ultraviolet sprays to sterilize interiors, while others are looking for butler robots.
Buffet breakfast is no more, with table service only and staggered arrival times. Room service is encouraged. Gyms and swimming pools remain closed.
What is happening?
Hairdressers and barbers can reopen tomorrow, including freelance stylists who come to you. But other beauty services – nail bars, spas, waxing studios, massage parlors and tanning salons, whether mobile or in a fixed location, remain banned.
The tattoo and piercing studios are also closed until further notice.
What to expect:
You will need to book, often months in advance, with popular hairdressers and barbers who already have a summer waiting list. The service will be done by appointment only, there will be health questionnaires and, in some cases, temperature analyzes on arrival, as well as a compulsory hand sanitizer (not only for your hands but also for wipe cell phones).
Stylists will wear face masks in addition to transparent visors, and clients will need to bring and wear their own face coverings.
There will be no refreshments, magazines or other personal touches, and many hairdressers are implementing a “no-chat” policy to limit interactions.
The music will be lowered to avoid shouting and the locker rooms will be limited.
You will need to wear a disposable dress and payment – made before your haircut to ensure a quick exit – will only be by card.
Expect long delays as staff disinfect combs, brushes and scissors, as well as chairs and other treatment surfaces, carefully between clients.
Hairdressers and barbers can reopen tomorrow, including freelance stylists who come to you
What is happening?
Outdoor play areas, skate parks and gymnasiums will reopen from tomorrow, as will play rooms and outdoor skating rinks. Indoor gymnasiums, flexible play areas, bowling alleys, dance / fitness studios, and indoor and outdoor pools remain closed until further notice.
What to expect:
The equipment will be cleaned regularly and may be out of range for several hours a day during disinfection.
Capacity will be limited, only children from the same household / bubble being allowed to use each equipment at a time. Clearly visible signs will remind those in different groups to stay two meters apart if possible, and some tips may encourage visitors to wear masks. Expect hand sanitizing stations and outdoor sinks with hand washing facilities.
The gymnasiums will reopen from tomorrow as long as they are outside, as are the games rooms and outdoor skating rinks
What is happening?
All major theme parks, adventure parks, fun fairs and model villages are slated to reopen tomorrow, as will the indoor attractions of zoos and safari parks, aquariums and enclosed spaces in gardens, heritage sites and monuments. Water parks and water rides remain closed.
What to expect:
Buy your tickets online and bring a mask or blanket. Alton Towers, Thorpe Park and Chessington World of Adventures recommend that you wear them at all times (except children under the age of six) and they are required on certain close contact routes.
Capacity will be significantly reduced to allow for social distancing (including empty rows on the rides) and stewards will be on hand to discourage mixing.
Parking will also be subject to distance guidelines, so expect longer than normal walking to the entrance and more queues.
Visitors will have their temperature scanned upon arrival. The rides will be cleaned every half hour at most sites.
All major theme parks, adventure parks, fun fairs and model villages are slated to reopen tomorrow, as will indoor attractions for zoos and safari parks, aquariums and enclosed garden spaces, heritage sites and monuments
What is happening?
Weddings and civil partnerships can take place from tomorrow, but the number is limited to 30 people, including the couple, witnesses, staff and celebrants.
Although legal ceremonies are permitted, government directives “strongly discourage” receptions, allowing only “small celebrations” that follow the rules of social distancing: either a group of two households maximum inside, or up to to six people from different households outside.
What to expect:
Short and functional ceremonies, limited to legally binding parts, without song (recordings are suggested instead) and a maximum of 30 well-spaced guests. This should exclude the tradition of the father of the bride walking his daughter down the aisle, as well as group photographs.
The bride, groom and the best man should wash their hands before and after handing over the rings, with many sites installing hand sanitizers at the end of the aisle.
Vows should be taken quietly. Brass and wind instruments should be avoided – and, if song or song is required (for religious reasons), they should only be performed by one person and behind a screen if possible.
Face covers are not required, but some locations may require staff – including celebrants, photographers and waiters – to wear them throughout the wedding.
What is happening?
Churches, mosques and other places of worship are open to the public from tomorrow, although private services such as funerals and baptisms are limited to 30 people.
What to expect:
Regular services only. Churches may not necessarily be open for visitors to walk around, and more popular sites / services may be labeled for advance booking.
Although there is no ceiling on the number of congregations, the rule of two meters (or a meter more if this is not possible) still applies, so not everyone will be able to worship inside at the same time.
Expect screens and outdoor worship to maximize capacity, as well as floor markers and curly benches to separate households / bubbles.
Visitors will be asked to wash their hands when entering and leaving the building and to provide their contact details, so that churches can keep a journal for 21 days.
There will be disposable hymn sheets that congregation members should take home after the service. No collection plate will be given. Hymn singing, singing and loud music are not recommended and only string instruments can be played. Face covers are optional, and food and beverages can only be served in registered cafes or canteens – no tea or coffee tables after service.
TRAVEL TO THE CINEMA
What is happening?
Gradual reopening of all the major cinema chains. Showcase is the only chain to reopen all its cinemas tomorrow.
Odéon will open ten sites across the country, followed by the others on July 16. Everyman will follow the same pattern.
Vue will begin reopening cinemas on July 10, as will Picturehouse. Some cinemas in Curzon will open on July 17, others on July 24 – and others on July 31. Cineworld will not start reopening its theaters until July 31.
What to expect:
Allocated seats, online booking and shifted movie times to regulate the crowd in the halls. There will be one-way systems marked with cords and arrows on the ground to ensure minimum contact between the different households (see image on the right) as well as empty rows and several seats between the groups.
You will need to download your tickets to your phone or print them at home, and they will be checked by a staff member on arrival.
Guests will be asked to wash their hands at the entrance and exit, with hand sanitizers and antibacterial soap in all toilets.
Screens have been installed at most ticket and snack counters, with some chains offering only popcorn and pre-booked drink options. The seats will be cleaned more regularly, Showcase even commits to using anti-fog anti-fog machines to thoroughly clean the seats between films.
Cinemas will have allocated seats, online reservations and shifted movie times to control the crowd in the halls. Guests will be asked to wash their hands on entry and exit, with hand sanitizers and antibacterial soap in all toilets
What is happening?
Community centers, social clubs and youth clubs can all reopen this weekend, as can libraries – local and national – and bingo halls.
What to expect:
Hand washing at the entrance, social distance of two meters and screens installed around receptions and counters.
In bingo clubs and halls, admission will be strictly reserved in advance, while food and beverages will be ordered and paid for online. Libraries will have hand sanitizers and “space commissioners” at the door to make sure they do not exceed capacity, while librarians will scan books behind a Perspex screen.
Borrowed books will be stored in crates and quarantined for 72 hours before being returned to the shelves.
ALWAYS OUT OF LIMITS
Discos and casinos will remain closed due to the risk of overcrowding and the difficulty of enforcing social distancing. Festivals are also prohibited, as are live crowds at sports games, and there will be no summer barbecues, street parties or other gatherings of more than 30 people.
The exhibition and conference centers are also closed until further notice, and team sports such as cricket and football are not yet allowed.
While museums, galleries and cultural centers can technically open tomorrow, most take a few days or weeks to prepare for the public’s arrival.
The National Gallery is the first major institution to reopen on Wednesday, followed by the Royal Academy on Thursday, the Barbican Center on July 13 and the Tate Galleries on July 27. The British Museum and the National History Museum are among those who have not yet set a date.
Police chiefs and hospitality officials urge revelers to “act responsibly” and “respect” social distancing when pubs reopen on July 4 as forecasters warn of a washout of the Super Saturday with up to TWO INCHES of rain expected to hit
ByJames Gant for Mailonline
Police and hospitality officials urged revelers to “act responsibly” and respect social unrest when the pubs reopened over the weekend.
The British Beer & Pub Association, UKHospitality, London Night Czar and the National Police Chiefs ‘Council issued the notice before” Super Saturday “.
The Real Beer Campaign (Camra) has also published advice for people who plan to have their first pint drawn in England for more than three months.
But revelers face washout as forecasters warn of up to two inches of rain in some areas, with strong winds from the west throughout the day.
This has caused drinkers to fear taking refuge from indoor storms and breaking social distancing rules.
Rates of deadly virus infection are said to be considerably higher in indoor spaces.
Wagerers are pictured drinking from Wandsworth Common in London at the Althorpe pub serving takeout beers
Althorp by Wandsworth Common staff member wears PPE close to clients
A person walks with an overturned umbrella during rain showers on Wimbledon Common, London, today
Pub fans across England are set to receive showers on Saturday while parts of the hospitality industry are expected to reopen. Pictured: Samuel Smith’s brewery in Tadcaster delivers beer to local pubs in a horse-drawn cart before Super Saturday
People enjoy the early morning weather at Hengistbury Head in Dorset before the washout this weekend
The welcoming and police statement said: “We ask pub fans to support the owners and staff of the pub, helping them to reopen in the best possible way.
“It is important that everyone respects the new measures in place so that everyone can enjoy the safe return of our ads.
“If we all work together, we can ensure that the reopening of the pubs and the hospitality are a success and a pleasant experience for everyone. “
Camra said people should order and be served at their table, give their name and phone number to facilitate contact tracing, and not be allowed to take shelter indoors if it rains.
President Nik Antona said: “The fact that we haven’t been able to go to the pub for a pint in the past few months has really reminded us of how important our people are to our communities and to fighting loneliness and social isolation.
“As pubs across England start to reopen, it is important that we support pubs not only this weekend but in the weeks and months to come so that they can survive and thrive. “
People enjoy the early morning weather at Hengistbury Head in Dorset looking over the cliff
Two friends sheltered from the rain under an umbrella as they sit on Wimbledon Common in London today
Drinkers stand in marked rings on the grass to maintain their social distance outside a bar in Canary Wharf, East London, yesterday
Friday and Saturday will be humid and windy days as these two graphs from the Met Office show
Despite the wet weather, the temperature (left) and pollen count (right) will remain quite high on Saturday
The public’s wish to return to the pub, eat out or spend a family vacation could inject £ 3.8 billion into the economy in a week of relaxation, the research said.
A survey of more than 2,000 adults per job site Caterer.com found that two in three were eager to support local hospitality businesses as soon as possible.
But those heading to water points will face bad weather that will continue throughout the weekend.
Met Office spokesman Nicola Maxey said that although the rain will decrease overnight, the low clouds and drizzle conditions will continue until Sunday.
She said: “Conditions will be more volatile on Saturday, with showers beginning in the west during the morning and starting to move east.
“Although it is not unusually wet for the time of year, some eastern regions could get particularly heavy for an hour or two in the middle of the morning or early afternoon.
“Growing after that will be a spell of rain showers and low clouds hanging over the UK for the rest of the day. »Between 35 and 50 mm of rain should fall.
It will be humid throughout England, with highs of 75F (24C) in London and the south east, while the central and northern parts will peak at 68F (20C).
Maxey said it was due to a low pressure weather system near the UK.
Bar staff will deliver drinks to the tables, as seen above in a Greene King in Cambridge, when pubs reopen on Super Saturday
New rules will change the experience of drinkers, with screens separating tables, bar staff delivering drink orders to customers and orders placed via apps.
Major players, such as JD Wetherspoon, plan to reopen hundreds of its pubs across England, following the security package.
A spokesperson for JD Wetherspoon, who plans to reopen 750 of its sites on Saturday, said, “The weather is out of our control, but our pubs tend to be three times larger than the others, so we are not worried that people are inside our place.
“We cannot predict the weather in England, but we are confident that our customers and staff will be as safe as possible.”
A spokesperson for Stonegate Pubs, owner of The Slug and Lettuce, which is also reopening, said: “In all of our pubs and bars, we are implementing clear and safe socialization measures indoors and through our outdoor spaces.
“We encourage customers to book in advance and all reservations work within a time frame that allows us to manage customer capacity and expectations.
“In case of bad weather, we will work with our customers on a common sense approach, adapting where we can those who have had to leave the outside areas.
“Most customers are likely to check the weather and be prepared for the expected short periods of rain or drizzle.”
Pourtant, certains bars devraient rester fermés, certains publicains de Tyneside décidant de ne pas ouvrir ce week-end, affirmant qu’ils ne sont pas encore prêts à fonctionner en toute sécurité.
À Sunderland, les bars dont Ttonic, Chaplins, The Point, Glitter Ball et Arizona resteront fermés.
Leur équipe de direction a écrit: « Nous craignons que les rassemblements de masse et l’intensité attendue samedi ne valent pas la peine de mettre notre équipe sous des risques et un stress inutiles.
Malgré l’ouverture de centaines de pubs à travers le pays, certains publicains de Tyneside ont décidé de ne pas ouvrir ce week-end, affirmant qu’ils ne sont pas encore prêts à fonctionner en toute sécurité. Sur la photo: les aumôniers de Sunderland resteront fermés
«Notre sécurité, votre sécurité et pour protéger les services d’urgence contre toute contrainte inutile, nous pensons que c’est primordial et la chose responsable à faire dans notre ville bien-aimée.
«Nous n’ouvrirons pas jusqu’à nouvel ordre et resterons fermés ce week-end. Veuillez comprendre notre décision pour l’instant, nous devons protéger notre personnel et les gens de notre ville.
«Désolé pour tout inconvénient que cela pourrait causer à vos plans de week-end, nous espérons que tout le monde reste vigilant, en sécurité et pratique la distanciation sociale comme indiqué par le gouvernement.»
Les experts ont averti que le personnel médical «se préparait» à un afflux de patients lorsque les pubs ouvrent leurs portes.
Hier, le Dr Katherine Henderson a déclaré à l’émission Today de BBC Radio 4: «Nous nous préparons, je pense que ce serait une façon juste de le dire.
« En fait, c’est assez grave, nous avons des services d’urgence qui doivent travailler d’une manière très différente de ce qu’ils faisaient auparavant parce que nous devons assurer la sécurité des patients vulnérables afin que nous ne puissions pas avoir des services d’urgence bondés.
« Ce que nous ne pouvons pas faire, c’est avoir un département qui est submergé par des personnes blessées parce qu’elles se sont disputées, elles sont tombées quelque chose, elles ont tellement bu qu’elles ont réellement besoin de l’aide du service de santé.
« Les gens se tenaient à la porte pour applaudir le NHS, bien plus important que d’appuyer sur le NHS utilise les ressources de manière responsable et quiconque sort et s’enivre tellement qu’il a besoin d’une ambulance et qu’il doit se rendre à l’urgence ne soutient pas le NHS. “
Le « super samedi » provoquera une hausse du taux de R, car un scientifique a déclaré qu’il était déjà revenu à un peu moins de 1 en juin … mais d’autres experts de haut niveau disent que l’augmentation est inévitable et qu’il n’y a aucune raison de paniquer
Le « Super samedi » entraînera une augmentation du taux de R crucial en Grande-Bretagne et a déjà grimpé vers le chiffre redouté de un, a déclaré un statisticien.
Les pubs, les restaurants et les coiffeurs rouvrent enfin leurs portes le 4 juillet, après des mois de fermeture pour contenir l’épidémie de Covid-19 au Royaume-Uni.
Les scientifiques craignent que cela ne déclenche à nouveau la propagation rapide du virus, entraînant une spirale au-dessus du nombre de personnes infectées par un patient infecté.
Maintenir le taux en dessous de un est considéré comme essentiel pour faciliter le verrouillage, car cela signifie que l’épidémie diminue, car tout le monde qui l’attrape ne le transmet pas. Si le chiffre – que le Premier ministre a placé au cœur même de la lutte du pays contre le virus – dépasse un chiffre, il pourrait voir la maladie devenir incontrôlable.
Le comité consultatif scientifique du numéro 10, SAGE, a rapporté que le taux de R est resté dans une fourchette comprise entre 0,7 et 0,9 depuis la fin du mois de mai, sur la base de la modélisation d’une douzaine de groupes différents.
Mais le Dr Mike Lonergan, statisticien principal et épidémiologiste à l’Université de Dundee, a déclaré qu’il avait atteint son plus haut niveau de 0,9 en juin. Il a admis que la hausse aurait pu être provoquée par des acheteurs, des manifestations et des plages bondées en juin, et a déclaré qu’il s’attend à ce que le taux R s’accélère davantage en juillet.
D’autres scientifiques qui s’attendent à ce que le taux de R augmente dans les prochaines semaines disent que ce n’est pas une cause de panique car il est inévitable qu’il augmentera avec moins de cas.
Le Dr Mike Lonergan, statisticien principal et épidémiologiste à l’Université de Dundee, a déclaré que le taux de R avait grimpé à 0,9s en juin, passant de 0,84
De nombreuses parties du verrouillage imposé en mars ont été démêlées par M. Johnson en juin, alors que les nouveaux décès et cas quotidiens diminuaient.
Les écoles ont ouvert le 1er juin, le même jour jusqu’à six personnes de ménages différents ont été autorisées à se rencontrer pour la première fois depuis des mois.
Le commerce de détail non essentiel s’est de nouveau ouvert aux acheteurs le 15 juin, provoquant d’énormes files d’attente et une foule à certains endroits.
Des milliers de Britanniques se sont rassemblés lors des manifestations pour le mouvement Black Lives Matter, y compris un rassemblement de masse sur la place du Parlement le 6 juin.
M. Johnson a relâché la distance sociale de deux mètres à un, ce qui aurait permis aux gens de se rapprocher.
Et les plages d’Angleterre ont continué à être inondées de Britanniques tout au long du mois de juin, souvent dans des foules avec peu de distanciation sociale.
Le Dr Lonergan a examiné l’impact de l’assouplissement du verrouillage le mois précédent après avoir remarqué que le déclin des nouveaux cas de coronavirus avait ralenti.
Cela est devenu apparent le 23 juin, lorsque les données ont été présentées lors d’une conférence de presse à Downing Street dirigée par M. Johnson.
Dr Longergan said his model ‘strongly showed’ a real change in the R number around June 9, when it crept up from an estimated 0.81 to 0.94 over a fortnight (right quarter)
Dr Lonergan observed that the decline in new coronavirus cases has slowed, according to Government data presented on June 23 (pictured), which prompted him to measure the R rate
WHAT IS R0?
Every infectious disease is given a reproduction number, which is known as R0 – pronounced ‘R nought’.
It is a value that represents how many people one sick person will, on average, infect.
WHAT IS THE R0 FOR COVID-19?
The R0 value for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, was estimated by the Imperial College COVID-19 Response Team to be 2.4 in the UK before lockdown started.
But some experts analysing outbreaks across the world have estimated it could be closer to the 6.6 mark.
Estimates of the R0 vary because the true size of the pandemic remains a mystery, and how fast the virus spreads depends on the environment.
It will spread faster in a densely-populated city where people travel on the subway than it will in a rural community where people drive everywhere.
HOW DOES IT COMPARE TO OTHER VIRUSES?
It is thought to be at least three times more contagious than the coronavirus that causes MERS (0.3 – 0.8).
Measles is one of the most contagious infectious diseases, and has an R0 value of 12 to 18 if left uncontrolled. Widespread vaccination keeps it suppressed in most developed countries.
Chickenpox’s R0 is estimated to be between 10 and 12, while seasonal flu has a value of around 1.5.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO HAVE A LOW R0?
The higher the R0 value, the harder it is for health officials control the spread of the disease.
A number lower than one means the outbreak will run out of steam and be forced to an end.
This is because the infectious disease will quickly run out of new victims to strike.
HOW DOES A LOCKDOWN BRING DOWN THE R0?
The UK’s draconian lockdown, imposed on March 23 has slowed Britain’s coronavirus crisis, studies show.
Scientists at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine last month analysed the virus in the UK.
They estimated each infected patient may now only be passing COVID-19 on to 0.62 others, down from 2.6.
The team said the virus was struggling to spread because people were having less contact with others.
They used a survey of 1,300 people who were asked to list what human contact they had in the past 24 hours.
This was compared to a similar survey done in 2005 to give an idea of how it had changed because of lockdown.
One of the presentation slides showed new coronavirus cases during the epidemic were not dropping off as dramatically as they once were.
Dr Longergan calculated an estimated R number based on two things – data on daily new cases and how long it takes each person to pass on the disease to someone else.
He admitted his model, not yet published in an academic journal, is more simple than those used by Sage, which take into account other factors such as trends in movement.
However, his model ‘strongly showed’ a real change in the R number around June 9, when it crept up from an estimated 0.81 to 0.94 over a fortnight.
Dr Lonergan warned the rise was a ‘significant’ amount — but is not indicated by the government’s own figures.
Discussing the findings, Dr Lonergan told MailOnline: ‘The pattern is very clear: there was quite a big a change around the 9th June.
‘News reports, and anecdotal evidence, showed mass attendance at demonstrations and crowded beaches in the UK during June.
‘I think we are already seeing the start of what will happen through July. And it will accelerate.’
He said the loosening of lockdown over June used up most of the ‘safety margin’ in terms of how much the R rate could safely increase.
It leaves ‘little scope’ for easing the lockdown any further without causing the R rate to dramatically topple over one and re-start the spread of the disease.
If there was only scope of an increase of 0.2 in the R rate, an increase of 0.13 in June is already more than half.
Dr Longergan believes measures to reduce the R rate which have worked so far ‘will need to continue for another year, at least’.
The findings come ahead of ‘Super Saturday’, when pubs, cinemas, restaurants and other cultural venues will open for the first time in three months.
Some scientists argue the move has come too soon, including former chief scientific adviser Sir David King, chair of the independent Sage group.
The Government has reported the R rate — naturally around 3 — is between 0.7 and 0.9 since May 29.
But the official estimates do not indicate fluctuations within that range, to show if it has increased or decreased in any given week.
Therefore, it is possible it could be closer to 0.7 at the end of May, and 0.9 by the end of June — but this data is not available.
A leaked government document at the end of June, seen by the HuffPost, suggested the R rate of the coronavirus in England could be higher than one.
There are several teams from different universities working to estimate R values to inform the Government.
They use different models which are not publicly available, except one — Professor Neil Ferguson’s from Imperial College London.
Dr Longergan said it could be ‘slightly dangerous that there is no way of checking what they are actually doing’.
‘I do think all of the model estimates of R over time should be published, along with details of the models,’ he said.
‘We really have no idea what SAGE thinks or recommends, and that makes it hard to judge whether they are being listened to, or how reasonable the decisions and advice are.’
But scientists have explained an increase in the R rate is not a reason to be panicked. In fact, they say it will be a sign cases are coming down to low levels.
As the number of people with the virus falls, the data measuring them will be more volatile and affected by small outliers or unusual events.
A large margin of error could mean one ‘super-spreading’ event, when one person infects a lot of others, could send the R rate for one area soaring.
Scientists think the R rate of the coronavirus in Britain has plummeted from almost 4 to close to 0.5 since the lockdown was introduced on March 23, but it has ticked up slightly in recent weeks because there are still problems in hospitals and care homes, even if few people are catching the infection in the community
R RATE HAS ‘DROPPED IN EVERY REGION’
A team at Public Health England and Cambridge University believe the R rate has dropped in every region to be between 0.7-0.9, putting it in line with the official figure given by SAGE after last month saying it had risen to above the dreaded level of one in several regions.
The team calculated that the crucial ‘R’ reproduction rate fell to just 0.46 in the capital in the aftermath of the lockdown being introduced.
However, the rate in London — as well as other regions — slowly began to creep up to between 0.8 and 0.9 by mid-May but has dropped or remained stable in the past month.
At the beginning of the outbreak London was the worst affected region but the latest numbers suggest it is now ahead of all but two regions in terms of recovery.
In contrast, the Midlands has an R rate of 0.89, the highest for any region in the country.
Government advisers last week claimed the R rate for the UK and England remains between 0.7 and 0.9 for the third week in a row. But they admitted it could be as high as 1.0 in the North West.
But this will not mean the virus is out of control, as long as the rate can be brought back down to below one over a longer period.
Sir Patrick Vallance, the Government’s chief scientific adviser, last month said the UK is approaching the point where the R will no longer be an accurate measure.
The Department of Health has diagnosed an average of 890 people per day with the coronavirus over the last week — around a third of the total cases.
Other data from the Office for National Statistics and King’s College London suggest that between up to 3,000 people are catching the virus each day.
As the total number of people becomes lower, the proportionate impact of a super-spreading event gets much larger.
For example, if there are 1,000 people infected with the virus and they all infect 0.8 people each on average, or 800 in total, the R will be 0.8.
But if 995 of them infect 0.8 people each, on average, but five of them don’t realise they are ill and infect 10 people each, there are now a total of 846 extra patients.
This means the R rate is 0.846 – a marginal increase.
However, if there are only 10 people with the virus in an area, with nine of them at an R of 0.8, and one of them is a super-spreader and infects 10 others, there are 17 patients from those 10 and the R rate has risen to 1.72.
Professor Carl Heneghan, a statistician at the University of Oxford, told MailOnline: ‘There is a problem with using the R rate now, as infection comes down to very low levels.
‘The R will fluctuate, so you would expect the R to become a less accurate measurement of the epidemic.
‘No-one will get a handle on the R rate when 80 per cent of people are asymptomatic and the virus is circulating at such low levels.
What really matters is looking at data such as hospital admissions, 999 calls, GP consultation rates and NHS 111 interactions. And when we look at these, all of them are reassuringly coming down.’