Coronavirus measures are gradually being eased across the UK, with the alert level being reduced from four to three last Friday, meaning the virus is still in general circulation.
While many countries are relaxing lockdown levels as infection rates fall, they are remaining on alert for a potential rise in the ‘R’ number – the number of other people likely to be infected by someone who has coronavirus – which could potentially point to another rise in infections and a possible second wave.
One country which has seen their ‘R’ level rise in recent days is Germany – but what is their ‘R’ rate and could it lead to a return to lockdown?
Here’s what you need to know…
According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the reproduction rate of the virus has jumped back up to 2.88 in Germany.
That potentially means that every person who has coronavirus could potentially infect 2.88 others, with the RKI saying that number is far above the level needed to contain the virus over the long term.
The number of confirmed cases in Germany also increased by 687 to 189,822.
Experts have said that the ‘R’ rate needs to remain below one in order in order for the number of infections to slow and remain under control.
If the rate rises above one, the virus could rapidly spread through the population again.
However, it has been suggested that the rate has risen in Germany due to local outbreaks, rather than the whole country once again being impacted.
There is no indication at the moment that the whole of Germany could be put back into lockdown, but some regional measures have been taken to deal with the new outbreak
Officials in North Rhine Westphalia forced 6,500 employees and their families to go into quarantine after more than 1,000 staff at German meat processing firm Toennies tested positive for coronavirus.
A riot also broke out at a block of flats in Goettingen on Saturday where around 700 people had been placed into quarantine.
‘Around 200 people tried to get out, but 500 people complied with quarantine rules,’ Uwe Luehrig, head of police in Goettingen, said at a press conference on Sunday.
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