Coronavirus UK news LIVE: Deaths hit 40,465 today after R rate rise as vaccine could be here next month

CORONAVIRUS deaths in the UK have reached 40,465 after 204 more were announced today.

This comes after it was revealed that the Covid-19 R rate has risen above one in some areas of the country.

Latest figures show the R rate is above one in the North West and South West of England.

THE ‘R’ rate is a key metric that helps gauge the rate of the spread of coronavirus. R0, or R nought, refers to the average number of people that one infected person can expect to pass the coronavirus on to.

The Government has stressed throughout the pandemic that the R rate must remain below one in order to avoid a second peak of the virus.

If it rises above this level, the disease can spread exponentially, infecting more and more people.

On Wednesday, thousands of people took part in a protest in London’s Hyde Park after the death of George Floyd in the US.

Speaking at last night’s daily press briefing, Mr Hancock asked Brits not to attend large gatherings including demonstrations of more than six people.

Follow our live blog below for all the latest news and updates.

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