The North East is estimated to have the lowest R number, or rate of infection of coronavirus, in England.

Statistics gathered by the Government Office for Science and the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) show the R number to be between 0.7 and 0.9 in the North East and Yorkshire NHS region.

The numbers also show there are a low number of cases of transmission within the North East with cases decreasing at between -2% and -6% per day.

There was a slight increase in cases last week in Newcastle (eight cases per 1000 people) and Gateshead (four cases per 1000 people). But infections elsewhere in the North East fell.

Numbers in the Midlands are at similar levels compared to the North East, while the R number is highest in the North West and South West of England.

The R number refers to the rate in which coronavirus infections are passed from person to person. An R rate of 1 means one person with the virus will infect one other person on average.

There are concerns that infections are rising nationally as the estimated R rate across England overall is between 0.8-0.9. Keeping the rate below 1 helps to stabilise the rate of infection.

938 new cases were confirmed in England on Monday, the highest increase since June.

Local restrictions are also in place in other regions across the country where infections are rising. These include areas of the North West, including Manchester, Bradford and Kirklees, Luton and Leicester.