The coronavirus R number in the UK has fallen sharply since last week, suggesting the lockdown is slowing the spread of coronavirus.
The R, which refers to the number of people that an infected person will pass COVID-19 on to, is between 0.8 and 1 across the UK, according to the Science and the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE).
Last week, the R – or the reproduction number – was between 1.2 and 1.3 for the UK as a whole.
The number of new infections is also estimated to be shrinking by between 1% and 4% every day, while last week it was rising by between 2% and 5%.
Scientists advising the government said that all regions of England have seen falls in the R number and growth rate estimates compared with last week, and R is below or around 1 in every region.
However, they warned that despite the reductions, case levels “remain dangerously high and we must remain vigilant to keep this virus under control, to protect the NHS and save lives”.
SAGE scientists said: “It is essential that everyone continues to stay at home, whether they have had the vaccine or not.
“We all need to play our part, and if everyone continues to follow the rules, we can expect to drive down the R number across the country.”
The update comes as separate figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed there had been a slight drop in the number of people infected with coronavirus in England after lockdown measures were introduced.
An estimated one in 55 people in private households in England had COVID-19 between 10 and 16 January, down from one in 50 people for the Christmas period of 27 December