The R number for the south east of England has risen over the last week according to the latest figures, as the Government prepares to announce new regional restrictions.

The figure, which represents the average number of people each Covid-19 positive person goes on to infect, was estimated on Friday to be between 1.2 and 1.4 in the South East.

In the previous week, it was estimated to be between 1.1 and 1.4 - marginally lower.

The figure is also estimated to be between 1.2 and 1.4 in London.

When the figure is above 1, an outbreak can grow exponentially, while if it is below, the spread of the virus will naturally decline.

The South East growth rate, which reflects how quickly the number of infections is changing day by day, has also increased to between +2 and +7, compared to between +2 and +6 a week ago.

The Prime Minister will set out his three-tier strategy in a Commons statement this afternoon, with areas in England labelled as medium, high or very high risk, which will inform the "appropriate interventions" needed.

The impact will be felt primarily in the North East, which will likely by placed under Tier 3 restrictions.

It is expected that pubs, gyms and casinos will be forced to close and all but essential travel to and from coronavirus hotspots will be banned under the new measures.

Under the furlough scheme, the government paid 80% of workers' wages until August, with the scheme winding down until it is closed at the end of the month.

A separate Job Support Scheme, which launches on November 1 and lasts for six months, will involve the Government paying two thirds of each employee's salary - up to a maximum of £2,100 a month - if their employer is legally required to close their premises because of restrictions.

The capital is expected to placed in Tier Two, which prohibits households from mixing indoors, although up to six from different homes will still be allowed to meet up outside.

The tier level also sees pubs, restaurants and gyms still permitted to open up their doors, althougt they will have to obey the current 10pm curfew rules.

Tier one restrictions are thought to be the baseline restrictions in place across England, including the 10pm hospitality curfew and a ban on most gatherings of more than six people.