The R rate of coronavirus infections has risen above 1 across the UK, the government’s Office for Science said on Friday.
The announcement follows results from a major testing programme commissioned by the government which found coronavirus cases in England are doubling weekly.
Meanwhile, Birmingham announced a ban on household mixing after a sharp spike in cases. Other areas in England are being watched closely for further rises in infections.
Liverpool, Newcastle and Gateshead have all been added to Public Health England’s coronavirus watch list amid a spike in cases, with Sunderland and South Tyneside expected to follow.