Press Release: NIESR Weekly Covid-19 Tracker – R value for England stable in the third week after step 2 re-opening

Post Date
06 May, 2021
Reading Time
2 min read

Main points


  • We report estimates of the R number and forecasts for new cases of Covid-19, hospital admissions, and deaths due to Covid-19 using data that was publicly available as of 4th May 2021.
  • Figure 1 shows that the Reproduction number, R, for England. R is the average number of secondary infections currently generated by an infected individual, and is estimated to be in the range of 0.85 – 1.00 based on specimen date data until 30th April.
  • For Northern Ireland the R number is in the range 0.90 – 1.05; for Wales, 0.80 – 0.95 and for Scotland, 0.85 – 1.0. The regional R number estimates given in Figure 5 show that, currently, London has the lowest R number while the North West has the highest value across England’s regions.
  • Based on our model, by 17th May when step 3 re-opening is due to restart, we expect the trend value of daily cases to be around 1,200; admissions to be below 100, and deaths to be approaching 0 (Figures 3-5).

Dr Craig Thamotheram, Senior Economist – Macroeconomic Modelling and Forecasting, said: Based on the latest data on new cases, our estimate of the R number for England lies in the range 0.85 – 1.00, similar to last week. This estimate is based on data up to 4th May 2021, three weeks beyond step 2 of the roadmap out of lockdown. Hospital admissions and deaths due to Covid-19 continue their steady decline hinting at the success of the vaccination programme whilst social mobility restrictions have been gradually eased.”

Please find the full analysis in the document attached


Notes for editors:

For further information please contact the NIESR Press Office: press [at] or

Luca Pieri on l.pieri [at] / 07930 544 631

National Institute of Economic and Social Research
2 Dean Trench Street
Smith Square
London, SW1P 3HE
United Kingdom

Switchboard Telephone Number: 020 7222 7665