A major study by Imperial College suggests almost 100,000 people are catching COVID-19 every day.
As this study is the most recent look at the status of COVID-19 in the UK, it is likely to prove highly influential to policy discussions in the coming days. The last swabs were taken this past Sunday, with 86,000 volunteers in total taking part in the study.
The set of samples taken before this one were collected between 18th September and 5th October. In comparison to the previous study, these swabs, taken between the 16th and 25th October, suggested anyone in London who infected with the virus passed it on to almost three other people, on average.
The study also showed that the infection rate has more than doubled since the last set of samples were collected. This now brings the rate to one in 78 people testing positive for COVID-19.
The study also reported that the number of people who are infected is doubling every nine days.
Currently, the highest number of cases is in Northern England. Results have also shown that in Yorkshire and the Humber, as many as one in every 37 people have COVID-19. The North West region of England has the second-highest rate.
Authors of the study have said that the nation is as a “critical stage” and “something has to change”.
Robert Jenrick told BBC Breakfast the government would prefer not to send the entire country into lockdown and wanted to "try to avoid having a national blanket approach" to restrictions implemented into the UK.
He continued to say, "we don't have a plan, today, to do a full national lockdown."
He also voiced concerns that this "would be destructive to people's lives and livelihoods and broader health and wellbeing".
France and Germany have announced new national lockdowns as an attempt to control the virus.
Professor Steven Riley, one of the authors of the study, told the BBC the government should consider “changing the approach" in England.
Warwick University’s Dr Mike Tildesley described the regional approach currently being used as merely “firefighting.” He went on to tell Radio 4’s Today programme, “if we don't take urgent action, we're most likely to see that as we're approaching the festive period we're probably going to be in at least tier two pretty much everywhere in the country."