The reproduction number, or R value, of coronavirus transmission across the UK is now between 0.8 and 1.

The weekly update has been released by the Government Office for Science and the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage).

Last week, the R number was between 0.9 and 1 - meaning this week is an improvement on last.

R represents the average number of people each Covid-19 positive person goes on to infect.

When the figure is above 1, an outbreak can grow exponentially.

An R number between 0.8 and 1 means that on average every 10 people infected will infect between 8 and 10 other people.

The estimates for R and the growth rate are provided by the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling (SPI-M), a sub-group of Sage.

The growth rate, which estimates how quickly the number of infections is changing day by day, is between minus 3% and minus 1% for the UK as a whole.

It means the number of new infections is shrinking by between 1% and 3% every day.

Estimates for R and growth rates are shown as a range and the true values are likely to lie within this range, according to the experts.