Nationally, the reproduction rate is estimated to be between 0.8 and 1, government figures released this afternoon show.
The R rate – which refers to the number of people infected by each person with Covid-19 – must be less than 1 for the number of cases to decrease.
Despite reasons for concern in some areas, the total number of cases could drop as much as 5% in the UK, according to the data.
In the capital, the current R rate is estimated between 0.8 and 1.1.
This is the same estimated range as the North West, a week after Greater Manchester and parts of Yorkshire and Lancashire were placed on new lockdown restrictions.
The government had previously warned that if it saw regional peaks, it could ban travel between cities to avoid a second national lockdown.
Earlier this week, disturbing data revealed that 17 of London’s 32 boroughs saw an increase in the infection rate in the week to July 31 – the rate having tripled in Barking and Dagenham.
An R number of 1 means that on average each infected person will infect 1 other person, which means that the total number of infections is stable.
If R is 2, on average each infected person infects 2 more people.
If R is 0.5, then on average for 2 infected people there will be only one new infection. If R is greater than 1, the epidemic increases, if R is less than 1, the epidemic decreases.
The government says: “A growth rate of between 0% and -5% means that the number of new infections is somewhere between remaining stable and decreasing by 5% every day.
“UK estimates of R and growth rate are averages over very different epidemiological situations and should be taken as a guide to the general trend rather than a description of the epidemic state. “