Timeline of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom

The following is a timeline of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom.

COVID-19 cases in the United Kingdom  ()
     Deaths        Confirmed cases
Date
Cases (% rise)
Deaths (% rise)
2020-01-31 2(n.a.)
2020-02-01 2
2020-02-02 2
2020-02-03 2
2020-02-04 2
2020-02-05 2
2020-02-06 3(50%)
2020-02-07 3
2020-02-08 3
2020-02-09 4(33%)
2020-02-10
8(100%)
2020-02-11
8
2020-02-12
8
2020-02-13
9(13%)
2020-02-14
9
2020-02-15
9
2020-02-16
9
2020-02-17
9
2020-02-18
9
2020-02-19
9
2020-02-20
9
2020-02-21
9
2020-02-22
9
2020-02-23
9
2020-02-24
13(44%)
2020-02-25
13
2020-02-26
13
2020-02-27
13
2020-02-28
19(46%)
2020-02-29
23(21%)
2020-03-01
35(52%)
2020-03-02
40(14%)
2020-03-03
51(28%)
2020-03-04
85(67%)
2020-03-05
114(34%) 1(n.a.)
2020-03-06
160(40%) 2(100%)
2020-03-07
206(29%) 2
2020-03-08
271(32%) 3(50%)
2020-03-09
321(18%) 7(133%)
2020-03-10
373(16%) 7
2020-03-11
456(22%) 9(29%)
2020-03-12
590(29%) 10(11%)
2020-03-13
797(35%) 28(180%)
2020-03-14
1,061(33%) 43(54%)
2020-03-15
1,391(31%) 65(51%)
2020-03-16
1,543(11%) 81(25%)
2020-03-17
1,950(26%) 115(42%)
2020-03-18
2,626(35%) 158(37%)
2020-03-19
3,269(24%) 194(23%)
2020-03-20
3,983(22%) 250(29%)
2020-03-21
5,018(27%) 285(14%)
2020-03-22
5,683(13%) 359(26%)
2020-03-23
6,650(17%) 508(42%)
2020-03-24
8,077(21%) 694(37%[i])
2020-03-25
9,529(18%) 877(26%)
2020-03-26
11,658(22%) 1,161(32%)
2020-03-27
14,548(25%[ii]) 1,455(25%)
2020-03-28
17,104(18%) 1,669(15%)
2020-03-29
19,606(15%) 2,043(22%)
2020-03-30
22,271(14%) 2,425(19%)
2020-03-31
25,521(15%) 3,095(28%)
2020-04-01
30,088(18%) 3,747(21%)
2020-04-02
34,610(15%) 4,461(19%)
2020-04-03
39,282(13%) 5,221(17%)
2020-04-04
43,282(10%) 5,865(12%)
2020-04-05
49,481(14%) 6,433(10%)
2020-04-06
53,624(8.4%) 7,471(16%)
2020-04-07
57,512(7.3%) 8,505(14%)
2020-04-08
63,377(10%) 9,608(13%)
2020-04-09
68,052(7.4%) 10,760(12%)
2020-04-10
73,758(8.4%) 11,599(7.8%)
2020-04-11
78,991(7.1%) 12,285(5.9%)
2020-04-12
84,279(6.7%) 13,029(6.1%)
2020-04-13
88,621(5.2%) 14,073(8.0%)
2020-04-14
93,873(5.9%) 14,915(6.0%)
2020-04-15
98,476(4.9%) 15,944(6.9%)
2020-04-16
103,093(4.7%) 16,879(5.9%)
2020-04-17
108,692(5.4%) 17,994(6.6%)
2020-04-18
114,217(5.1%) 18,492(2.8%)
2020-04-19
120,067(5.1%) 19,051(3.0%)
2020-04-20
124,743(3.9%) 20,223(6.2%)
2020-04-21
129,044(3.4%) 21,060(4.1%)
2020-04-22
133,495(3.4%) 21,787(3.5%)
2020-04-23
138,078(3.4%) 22,792(4.6%)
2020-04-24
143,464(3.9%) 23,635(3.7%)
2020-04-25
148,377(3.4%) 24,055(1.8%)
2020-04-26
152,840(3.0%) 24,393(1.4%)
2020-04-27
157,149(2.8%) 25,302(3.7%)
2020-04-28
161,145(2.5%) 26,097(3.1%[iii])
2020-04-29
165,221(2.5%) 26,771(2.6%)
2020-04-30
171,253(3.7%) 27,510(2.8%)
2020-05-01
177,454(3.6%) 28,131(2.3%)
2020-05-02
182,260(2.7%) 28,446(1.1%)
2020-05-03
186,599(2.4%) 28,734(1.0%)
2020-05-04
190,584(2.1%) 29,427(2.4%)
2020-05-05
194,990(2.3%) 30,076(2.2%)
2020-05-06
201,101(3.1%) 30,615(1.8%)
2020-05-07
206,715(2.8%) 31,241(2.0%)
2020-05-08
211,364(2.2%) 31,587(1.1%)
2020-05-09
215,260(1.8%) 31,855(0.8%)
2020-05-10
219,183(1.8%) 32,065(0.7%)
2020-05-11
223,060(1.8%) 32,692(2.0%)
2020-05-12
226,463(1.5%) 33,186(1.5%)
2020-05-13
229,705(1.4%) 33,614(1.3%)
2020-05-14
233,151(1.5%) 33,998(1.1%)
2020-05-15
236,711(1.5%) 34,466(1.4%)
2020-05-16
240,161(1.5%) 34,636(0.5%)
2020-05-17
243,695(1.5%) 34,796(0.5%)
2020-05-18
246,406(1.1%[iv]) 35,341(1.6%)
2020-05-19
248,818(1.0%) 35,704(1.0%)
2020-05-20
248,293(-0.2%[v]) 36,042(0.9%)
2020-05-21
250,908(1.1%) 36,393(1.0%)
2020-05-22
254,195(1.3%) 36,675(0.8%)
2020-05-23
257,154(1.2%) 36,793(0.3%)
2020-05-24
259,559(0.9%) 36,914(0.3%)
2020-05-25
261,184(0.6%) 37,048(0.4%)
2020-05-26
263,188(0.8%)
Sources:


Notes:

  1. ^ On 25 March PHE changed reporting of deaths to be correct up to 17:00 the previous day, while cases are reported up to 09:00 the same day. Deaths reported for Tuesday 24 March only covered from 09:00 to 17:00 on that day; subsequent reporting is for 24-hour periods from 17:00 to 17:00.[3]
  2. ^ Figures for 27 March and after include additional cases from tests carried out on key workers.
  3. ^ Starting with the figures published on 29 April, deaths in all settings are now included. Previously, only deaths in hospitals were included in the official figures. The numbers in this table have been updated with backdated figures for previous dates.
  4. ^ Positive cases are 27 lower than the difference between today’s and yesterday’s cumulative. This is due to Northern Ireland not processing testing data for 17 May, and the removal of a quality control sample from Wales data.
  5. ^ Reduction in the cumulative total is due to unpublished corrections, and the reallocation of some positive test results to previous days.[citation needed]

TimelineEdit

 
Graph of weekly England and Wales death data from the Office for National Statistics including COVID-19 deaths in 2020[4]

JanuaryEdit

FebruaryEdit

  • 6 February – A third case of coronavirus is confirmed in the UK.[10]
  • 10 February – The total number of cases in the UK reaches eight as four further cases are confirmed in people linked to an affected man from Brighton.[11][12]
  • 11 February – A ninth case is confirmed in London.[13]
  • 23 February – The DHSC confirms a total of 13 cases in the UK as four new cases in passengers on the cruise ship Diamond Princess are detected. They are transferred to hospitals in the UK.[14]
  • 25 February – Government guidance states that travellers returning from Hubei, Iran, and certain regions of South Korea should self-isolate on reaching home or their destination, even if they have no symptoms.[15]
  • 26/27 February – There is a coronavirus outbreak at a Nike conference in Edinburgh from which at least 25 people linked to the event are thought to have contracted the virus, including 8 residents of Scotland. Health Protection Scotland establishes an incident management team, and full contact tracing is done for delegates who have tested positive.[16]
  • 27 February
    • The total number of confirmed cases in the UK is reported as 16.[17][18]
    • Authorities confirm the first case of coronavirus in Northern Ireland.[19]
  • 28 February
  • 29 February
    • Three further cases of the virus are confirmed, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 23, after 10,483 people have been tested.[22] Two of the three affected people had recently returned from Italy while the third had come back from Asia.[23]
    • Scotland's Chief Medical Officer, Catherine Calderwood announces that surveillance will begin at some hospitals and 41 GP surgeries in Scotland.[24]
    • Around 442,675 calls were made to the non-emergency line 111 in the last week of February.[25]

MarchEdit

1–10 MarchEdit

  • 1 March
    • A further 13 cases are reported, adding Greater Manchester and Scotland to the list of areas affected and bringing the total to 36, three of which are believed to be contacts of a case in Surrey who had no history of travel abroad.[26][27]
    • Authorities confirm the first case of coronavirus in Scotland.[28]
  • 2 March – The government holds a COBRA meeting to discuss its preparations and response to the virus, as the number of UK cases jumps to 36.[29]
  • 3 March – The government publishes its action plan for dealing with coronavirus. This includes scenarios ranging from a milder pandemic to a "severe prolonged pandemic as experienced in 1918" and warns that a fifth of the national workforce could be absent from work during the infection's peak.[30][31]
  • 4 March – The total number of confirmed cases increases to 85.[22]
  • 5 March
    • The airline Flybe collapses into administration, due in part to the impact of the coronavirus.[32]
    • The first death from coronavirus in the UK is confirmed,[33] as the number of cases exceeds 100, with a total of 115 having tested positive. England's Chief Medical Officer, Chris Whitty, tells MPs that the UK has now moved to the second stage of dealing with COVID-19 – from "containment" to the "delay" phase.[34]
  • 6 March – The Prime Minister announces £46 million in funding for research into a coronavirus vaccine and rapid diagnostic tests. During a visit to a laboratory in Bedfordshire, he says: "It looks like there will be a substantial period of disruption where we have to deal with this outbreak."[35]
  • 7 March – The number of cases rises to over 200.[36]
  • 8 March – A third death from coronavirus is reported, at North Manchester General Hospital, as the number of cases in the UK reaches 273, the largest single-day increase so far.[37]
  • 9 March
    • The FTSE 100 plunges by more than 8 percent, its largest intraday fall since 2008, amid concerns over the spread of COVID-19.[38]
    • The Foreign and Commonwealth Office advises against all but essential travel to Italy due to the COVID-19 outbreak in the country and the nationwide lockdown.[39]
    • The first three cases are discovered in Dorset.[40]
  • 10 March – Health minister Nadine Dorries tests positive for coronavirus.[41]

11 MarchEdit

  • A further 83 cases are discovered in the UK bringing the total to 456.[42]
  • The Bank of England cuts its baseline interest rate from 0.75% to 0.25%, back down to the lowest level in history.[43]
  • Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, presents the Johnson Government's first budget, which includes £30 billion in measures to protect the economy from coronavirus.[44][45][46]
  • Wales has its first case of "community transmission", when a patient in Caerphilly with no travel history tests positive for COVID-19.[47]

12 MarchEdit

  • The total of cases in the UK is reported to be 590.[48]
  • The UK Chief Medical Officers raise the risk to the UK from moderate to high.[49]
  • The government advises that anyone with a new continuous cough or a fever should self-isolate for seven days. Schools are asked to cancel trips abroad, and people over 70 and those with pre-existing medical conditions are advised to avoid cruises.[50][51]
  • Following a recent series of major falls, the FTSE100 plunges again, this time by over 10%, its biggest drop since 1987.[52][53] Other markets around the world are similarly affected by ongoing economic turmoil.[citation needed]
  • A patient at Wrexham Maelor Hospital tests positive for COVID-19 – the first case in North Wales.[54]
  • Public Health England stops performing contact tracing, in view of the wide spread of infection in the population.[55]
  • The rules published on 25 February for travellers returning from certain countries are withdrawn; they should now follow the same guidance as other households.[15]

13 MarchEdit

  • The number of confirmed cases rises by 208 to 798.[56]
  • Authorities confirm the first death from coronavirus in Scotland.[57]
  • The UK Government restricts the export of three drugs being administered to COVID-19 patients in clinical trials in China: Kaletra, Chloroquine phosphate, and Hydroxychloroquine.[58]
  • The Premier League 2019–2020 season is suspended, amid a growing list of worldwide sporting cancellations and postponements due to COVID-19.[59]
  • Elections including the English local elections, London mayoral election and police and crime commissioner elections, scheduled for May 2020, are postponed for a year because of the coronavirus.[60]
  • The Welsh Government's Health Minister Vaughan Gething announces that all non-urgent outpatient appointments and operations will be suspended at hospitals in Wales, in a bid to delay the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.[61]
  • BBC Radio 1 cancels its Big Weekend music festival, scheduled to take place at the end of May.[62] Organisers subsequently run an alternative event called Big Weekend UK 2020, with acts appearing on one of five virtual stages and performed from their homes; the event also features past performances from previous Big Weekend events.[63]

14 MarchEdit

  • The number of confirmed cases rises to 1,140.[64]
  • A further 10 people are reported to have died from COVID-19, almost doubling the UK death toll from 11 to 21. The government's aim for a "herd immunity" approach generates controversy.[65][66][67]
  • Vice President of the United States, Mike Pence, announces the US is to extend its European coronavirus travel ban to include the UK from 16 March.[68]
  • UK retailers release a joint letter asking customers not to panic buy products after some supermarkets sell out of items such as pasta, hand gel and toilet paper.[69]

15 MarchEdit

  • The Foreign and Commonwealth Office advises against all but essential travel to Spain, in view of the escalating COVID-19 outbreak in the country.[70]
  • The FCO advises against all but essential travel to the United States due to the restrictions imposed in response to the pandemic.[71]
  • Health Secretary Matt Hancock says that every UK resident over the age of 70 will be told "within the coming weeks" to self-isolate for "a very long time" to shield them from coronavirus.[72]
  • The government announces plans to hold daily televised press conferences to update the public on the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, starting on Monday 16 March.[73]
  • London's Old Vic becomes the first West End theatre to cancel a performance because of the pandemic when it ends its run of Samuel Beckett's Endgame two weeks early.[74]

16 MarchEdit

  • The UK death toll from the pandemic reaches 55, with the number of cases of the illness passing 1,500.[75]
  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson advises everyone in the UK against "non-essential" travel and contact with others, to curb coronavirus, as well as to work from home if possible and avoid visiting social venues such as pubs, clubs or theatres. Pregnant women, people over the age of 70 and those with certain health conditions are urged to consider the advice "particularly important", and will be asked to self-isolate within days.[75]
  • The government issues a call for businesses to support the supply of ventilators and ventilator components;[76] the NHS has access to 8,175 ventilators but it is thought that up to 30,000 may be needed.[77]
  • The BBC delays its planned changes to TV licences for the over-75s from June to August because of the pandemic.[78]
  • Theatres in London, as well as elsewhere around the UK, close following Boris Johnson's advice that people should avoid such venues.[79]

17 MarchEdit

  • NHS England announces that from 15 April all non-urgent operations in England will be postponed, to free up 30,000 beds to help tackle the virus.[80]
  • The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, announces that £330bn will be made available in loan guarantees for businesses affected by the virus.[81][82]
  • The Foreign and Commonwealth Office advises against all non-essential international travel due to the pandemic and the border restrictions put in place by many countries in response.[83]
  • The UK coronavirus-related death toll rises to 71, while the number of confirmed cases of the illness rises to 1,950.[84][85]
  • The UK government provides a £3.2million emergency support package to help rough sleepers into accommodation.[86][87] With complex physical and mental health needs, in general, homeless people are at a significant risk of catching the virus.[86]
  • The National Assembly for Wales is closed to the public.[88]
  • The BBC announces major changes to the schedule across the network. While programmes such as Politics Live, Victoria Derbyshire, The Andrew Neil Show, Newswatch, The Travel Show and HARDTalk have been suspended, others such as Newsnight and The Andrew Marr Show will continue with a smaller number of production staff. Question Time is moved to an earlier 8pm Thursday timeslot and will be broadcast without an audience from a fixed location. Podcasts programmes Americast, Beyond Today and The Next Episode are also suspended.[89]
  • Cinema chains Odeon, Cineworld, Vue and Picturehouse announce they will be closing all their UK outlets.[90]

18 MarchEdit

  • Pound sterling falls below $1.18, its lowest level since 1985.[91][92] Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey, commenting on the UK and wider economic situation, says: "It's obviously an emergency. I think we're living in completely unparalleled times... It's going to be a very big downturn – we know that."[93]
  • The UK death toll from coronavirus exceeds 100, with 32 new cases taking the total to 104.[94]
  • The government announces that all schools in the country will shut from the afternoon of Friday 20 March, except for those looking after the children of key workers and vulnerable children.[95] No exams will take place this academic year, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson confirms.[96]
  • The Northern Ireland Assembly reduces its workload by suspending all non-essential Assembly business. It is closed to the public from the following day.[97]
  • Princess Beatrice cancels her wedding reception at Buckingham Palace and will take further advice on whether to carry on with a private wedding ceremony, scheduled to take place on 29 May.[98]
  • The 50th anniversary Glastonbury Festival is cancelled as a result of the pandemic.[99]
  • The government announces emergency legislation to bring in a ban on new evictions for three months, as part of measures to help protect renters in social and private rented accommodation.[100]
  • The BBC announces that due to the coronavirus pandemic, filming on Casualty, Doctors, EastEnders, Holby City, Pobol y Cwm and River City is suspended until further notice. Weekly episodes of EastEnders will also be reduced from four to two to keep it on the air for as long as possible.[101]
  • MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle announces that he has tested positive with the virus.[102]

19 MarchEdit

  • The first COVID-19 death is confirmed in Northern Ireland.[103]
  • The Ministry of Defence announces the formation of the COVID Support Force, enabling the military to support public services and civilian authorities in tackling the outbreak.[104] Two military operations are also announced: Operation Rescript, which focuses on the outbreak in the United Kingdom; and Operation Broadshare, which focuses on British military activities overseas.[105]
  • In an emergency move, the Bank of England cuts interest rates again, from 0.25% to just 0.1%. This is the lowest rate in the Bank's 325-year history.[106]
  • The government announces £1.6bn for local authorities, to help with the cost of adult social care and support for the homeless; and £1.3bn to the NHS and social care, to allow up to 15,000 people to be discharged from hospital.[107]

20 MarchEdit

  • Northwick Park Hospital in Harrow declares a "critical incident" due to a surge in patients with coronavirus.[108]
  • Chancellor Rishi Sunak announces that the government will pay 80% of wages for employees not working, up to £2,500 a month, as part of "unprecedented" measures to protect people's jobs.[109]
  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson orders all cafes, pubs and restaurants to close from the evening of 20 March, except for take-away food, to tackle coronavirus. All the UK's nightclubs, theatres, cinemas, gyms and leisure centres are told to close "as soon as they reasonably can".[110]

21 MarchEdit

  • Environment Secretary George Eustice urges shoppers to stop panic buying, as supermarkets around the UK struggle to keep up with demand.[111] Tesco, Asda, Aldi, and Lidl are reported to have begun a recruitment drive for up to 30,000 new staff.[112]
  • NHS England negotiates a cost-price "block booking" of almost all services and facilities at the country's private hospitals, involving around 8,000 hospital beds, nearly 1,200 ventilators, and more than 10,000 nurses.[113]
  • The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency announces that all pending practical and driving theory tests are to be postponed, for at least three months in the case of practical tests, and up to and including 20 April for theory tests. All candidates are to receive notification of when their tests are rescheduled.[114][115]

22 MarchEdit

  • The Nursing and Midwifery Council announces that more than 5,600 former nurses have registered to offer their services in the fight against coronavirus.[116]
  • Boris Johnson warns that "tougher measures" may be introduced if people do not follow government advice on social distancing.[117]
  • Downing Street confirms Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab will act in place of Prime Minister Boris Johnson if he becomes "incapacitated".[118]
  • The UK death toll reaches 281, including what is reported to be the virus's youngest victim so far, an eighteen-year-old with underlying health problems.[117]
  • ITV announces that filming on its soaps Coronation Street and Emmerdale will be temporarily halted from Monday 23 March. Its daytime programmes Lorraine and Loose Women will also temporarily cease live broadcasting.[119]

23 MarchEdit

  • The government announces emergency measures to safeguard the nation's rail network, with season ticket holders given refunds if working from home, and rail franchise agreements nationalised for at least six months to prevent rail companies from collapsing.[120][121]
  • Pride in London, the UK's largest LGBT Pride festival, scheduled for 27 June, is the latest event to be postponed. It is one of a hundred pride events to be postponed or cancelled in the UK.[122]
  • In a televised address, Boris Johnson announces a UK-wide partial lockdown, to contain the spread of the virus. The British public are instructed that they must stay at home, except for certain "very limited purposes" – shopping for basic necessities; for "one form of exercise a day"; for any medical need; and to travel to and from work when "absolutely necessary". However, when these restrictions came into force on 26 March, the statutory instrument omitted any limit on the number of exercise sessions.[123] A number of other restrictions are imposed, with police given powers to enforce the measures, including the use of fines.[124][125][126]

24 MarchEdit

  • The UK records its highest number of coronavirus deaths in one day, after a further 87 people die across the country, bringing the total to 422.[127]
  • For the first time, all of the UK's mobile networks send out a government text alert, ordering people to stay at home. The message reads: "GOV.UK CORONAVIRUS ALERT. New rules in force now: you must stay at home. More info and exemptions at gov.uk/coronavirus Stay at home. Protect the NHS. Save lives."[128]
  • Health Secretary Matt Hancock announces the government will open a temporary hospital, the NHS Nightingale Hospital at the ExCeL London, to add extra critical care capacity in response to coronavirus pandemic.[129]
  • The Scottish Parliament closes, with plans to reconvene on 1 April to discuss emergency legislation.[130]
  • BBC News announces that it is delaying plans to cut 450 news jobs due to the pressure of covering the coronavirus pandemic.[131]

25 MarchEdit

26 MarchEdit

  • The number of UK coronavirus deaths increases by more than 100 in a day for the first time, rising to 578, while a total of 11,568 have tested positive for the virus.[139]
  • The government announces that the self-employed will be paid 80% of profits, up to £2,500 a month, to help them cope during the economic crisis triggered by COVID-19.[140]
  • At 8pm, millions of people around the country take part in a "Clap for Carers" tribute, applauding the NHS and other care workers.[141]
  • The 2020 Isle of Wight and Download music festivals, scheduled for June, are cancelled.[142] The organisers of the Download festival subsequently announce plans to hold a virtual festival to be held on the dates it would have happened, and featuring streamed performances and interviews.[143]
  • The National Theatre launches National Theatre at Home, a two-month programme whereby a different production from its archives will be streamed for free each week. The project begins with Richard Bean's comedy One Man, Two Guvnors, featuring James Corden.[144]

27 MarchEdit

28 MarchEdit

  • Alister Jack, the Secretary of State for Scotland, announces that he is self-isolating after experiencing coronavirus symptoms.[152]
  • A further 260 deaths takes the number of fatalities past 1,000, with a total of 1,019 deaths having occurred so far; 17,089 people have tested positive.[153]
  • At 11pm, new regulations come into force in Northern Ireland giving authorities the power to force businesses to close, and impose fines on them if they refuse, as well as on people leaving their homes without a "reasonable excuse". The measures, introduced by the Northern Ireland Executive, bring Northern Ireland into line with the rest of the UK.[154][155]

29 MarchEdit

  • The government will send a letter to 30 million households warning things will "get worse before they get better" and that tighter restrictions could be implemented if necessary. The letter will also be accompanied by a leaflet setting out the government's lockdown rules along with health information.[156]
  • Dr Jenny Harries, England's deputy chief medical officer, suggests it could be six months before life can return to "normal", because social distancing measures will have to be reduced "gradually".[157]
  • The first NHS nurse dies of COVID-19.[137]

30 MarchEdit

  • As the number of reported deaths rises to 1,408, Patrick Vallance, the UK's chief scientific adviser, says there are early signs social distancing measures are "making a difference". Transmission of the virus within the community is thought to be decreasing, and hospital admission data suggests cases are not rising as fast as anticipated.[158]
  • Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab announces an arrangement between the government and major UK airlines to fly home tens of thousands of British nationals who are stranded abroad by the coronavirus outbreak.[159]
  • Dominic Cummings, the Prime Minister's Chief Adviser, is reported to be self-isolating after experiencing coronavirus symptoms.[160]

31 MarchEdit

  • A significant rise in anxiety and depression among the UK population is reported following the lockdown. The study, by researchers from the University of Sheffield and Ulster University, finds that people reporting anxiety increased from 17% to 36%, while those reporting depression increased from 16% to 38%.[161]
  • The number of people in hospital with COVID-19 passes 10,000.[162]
  • The largest UK daily death toll of the outbreak so far is reported, with 381 deaths taking the total to 1,789.[163]

AprilEdit

1 AprilEdit

  • The UK government confirms that a total of 2,000 NHS staff have been tested for coronavirus since the outbreak began, but Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove says a shortage of chemical reagents needed for COVID-19 testing means it is not possible to screen the NHS's 1.2 million workforce.[164] Gove's statement is contradicted by the Chemical Industries Association, which says there is not a shortage of the relevant chemicals and that at a meeting with a business minister the week before the government had not tried to find out about potential supply problems.[165]
  • The number of deaths is confirmed to have increased by 563 to 2,362, while a total of 29,474 cases have been diagnosed, 4,324 over the previous 24 hours.[164]
  • The contactless payment limit for in-store spending is raised from £30 to £45.[166]
  • The National Assembly for Wales reconvenes using Zoom for a virtual emergency Senedd meeting.[167]
  • Multinational pharmaceutical company Roche denies the existence of a deal to supply Wales with COVID-19 tests after First Minister Mark Drakeford and Health Minister Vaughan Gething blame the collapse of a deal for a shortage of testing kits.[168]
  • The 2020 Edinburgh festivals, planned for August, are cancelled.[169]

2 AprilEdit

  • Matt Hancock, who returns to give the daily government briefing after completing his self-isolation, sets a target of carrying out 100,000 tests a day by the end of the month (encompassing both swab tests and blood tests).[170]
  • The government writes off historical debts totalling £13.4bn of over 100 hospital trusts, an action which had been under consideration since before the onset of the pandemic.[171]
  • At 8pm the UK gives another national round of applause for NHS staff and other key workers.[172]

3 AprilEdit

  • NHS Nightingale Hospital London, the first temporary hospital to treat coronavirus patients, opens at the ExCel centre in East London, employing NHS staff and military personnel, with 500 beds and potential capacity for 4,000. It is the first of several such facilities planned across the UK.[173]
  • Figures published by the Cabinet Office indicate UK road traffic levels have fallen by 73% since the lockdown measures were introduced, and are at their lowest since 1955.[174]
  • With warm weather forecast for some areas during the upcoming weekend, Matt Hancock warns people to stay at home, telling them this is an instruction "not a request".[175]
  • The Queen holds the first virtual meeting with the Privy Council.[176]

4 AprilEdit

5 AprilEdit

  • Queen Elizabeth II makes a rare broadcast to the UK and the wider Commonwealth, something she has done on only four previous occasions. In the address she thanks people for following the government's social distancing rules, pays tribute to key workers, and says the UK "will succeed" in its fight against coronavirus but may have "more still to endure".[180][181]
  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson is admitted to hospital for tests after testing positive for coronavirus ten days earlier.[182]
  • Matt Hancock says the goal for the number of ventilators has been reduced to 18,000 and that the NHS has between 9,000 and 10,000 available.[183]
  • Catherine Calderwood, Scotland's chief medical officer, resigns from her post after it emerged she had been spoken to by police for visiting her second home during lockdown.[184]
  • Manchester City football club begins a disciplinary procedure against Kyle Walker after it was reported that he broke lockdown rules by inviting two sex workers to his home.[185][186]

6 AprilEdit

7 AprilEdit

  • The number of reported deaths increases by 786, taking the total to 6,159. Sir Patrick Vallance, the government's chief scientific adviser, says that the figures are not accelerating as had been predicted but that it is too early to tell whether the outbreak is peaking.[191][192]
  • The Northern Ireland Assembly establishes a COVID-19 Response Committees.[193]

8 AprilEdit

9 AprilEdit

  • The number of daily recorded deaths increases by 881, taking the total to 7,978. Dominic Raab says the UK is "starting to see the impact" of the restrictions but it is "too early" to lift them, and urges people to stay indoors over the upcoming Easter weekend.[197] With warm weather forecast again for Easter, this message is echoed by police and tourist destinations.[198] Johnson was moved out of intensive care, but remained in hospital.[199]
  • Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab says the UK is "starting to see the impact" of the restrictions but that it is "too early" to lift them, and urges people to stay indoors over the Easter weekend.[200]
  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson is moved out of intensive care, but remains in hospital.[201]
  • At 8pm the nation stages a third round of applause for NHS staff and other key workers.[202]

10 AprilEdit

  • The UK records another 980 deaths taking the total to 8,958.[203]
  • Jonathan Van-Tam, England's deputy chief medical officer, tells the UK Government's daily briefing the lockdown is "beginning to pay off" but the UK is still in a "dangerous situation", and although cases in London have started to drop they are still rising in Yorkshire and the North East.[204]
  • Matt Hancock tells the briefing a "Herculean effort" is being made to ensure daily deliveries of personal protective equipment (PPE) to frontline workers, including the establishment of a domestic manufacturing industry to produce the equipment. Fifteen drive-through testing centres have also been opened around the UK to test frontline workers.[205]
  • Beginning today, England's Care Quality Commission requires care homes to state in daily death notifications whether the death was a result of confirmed or suspected COVID-19. The CQC has not previously published statistics; the data will in future be included in weekly reports from the Office of National Statistics.[206]

11 AprilEdit

  • Queen Elizabeth II makes her first ever Easter message to the nation, in which she states "coronavirus will not overcome us" and that "we need Easter as much as ever."[207]
  • The number of reported deaths increases by 917, taking the total to 9,875.[208]
  • After some NHS workers say they still do not have the correct personal protective equipment to treat patients, Home Secretary Priti Patel tells that day's Downing Street briefing she is "sorry if people feel there have been failings" in providing kit.[209]
  • The number of people in London hospitals for COVID-19 reaches its peak, according to week-on-week change data; elsewhere in the country, patient numbers continue to increase, although the rate of increase is slowing.[210]
  • Occupancy of critical care beds in England peaks at around 58% of capacity. Occupancy in the month of April for Scotland and Wales will only briefly exceed 40%, while Northern Ireland reported a peak of 51% early in the month.[211]

12 AprilEdit

  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson is discharged from hospital after being treated for coronavirus and will continue his recovery at Chequers.[212]
  • The number of people who died in hospital with coronavirus in the UK passes 10,000, after a daily rise of 737 to 10,612. Matt Hancock describes it as a "sombre day".[213]
  • The temporary Dragon's Heart Hospital opens at Cardiff's Principality Stadium to admit its first patients.[214]

13 AprilEdit

  • The number of reported deaths increases by 717 to 11,329.[215]
  • Dominic Raab tells the Downing Street briefing the government does not expect to make any immediate changes to the lockdown restrictions and that the UK's plan "is working [but] we are still not past the peak of this virus".[216]

14 AprilEdit

  • The number of reported deaths increases by 778 to 12,107.[217]
  • The Office for National Statistics indicates that coronavirus was linked to one in five deaths during the week ending 3 April. More than 16,000 deaths in the UK were recorded for that week, 6,000 higher than would be the average for that time of year.[218]
  • Several UK charities, including Age UK and the Alzheimer's Society, express their concern that older people are being "airbrushed" out of official figures because they focus on hospital deaths and do not include those in care homes or a person's own home. Responding to these concerns, Therese Coffey, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, says that hospital figures are being used because "it's accurate and quick".[219]
  • Mobile operators report a further twenty attempted arson attacks on mobile phone masts over the previous weekend.[220]

15 AprilEdit

  • The number of recorded deaths rises by 761 to 12,868.[221]
  • Health Secretary Matt Hancock announces new guidelines that will allow close family members to see dying relatives in order to say goodbye to them. Hancock also launches a new network to provide personal protective equipment to care home staff.[222]
  • NHS England and the Care Quality Commission begin rolling out tests for care home staff and residents as it is reported the number of care home deaths are rising but that official figures, which rely on death certificates, are not reflecting the full extent of the problem. Helen Whately, the Minister for Social Care, says that the government are aware the figures are being understated.[223]
  • Arlene Foster, the First Minister of Northern Ireland, extends the period of lockdown in Northern Ireland to 9 May.[224]
  • The 2020 Love Supreme Jazz Festival, scheduled for July, is cancelled.[225]

16 AprilEdit

17 AprilEdit

  • The number of recorded deaths rises by 847 taking the total to 14,576.[233]
  • Matt Hancock confirms coronavirus tests will be rolled out to cover more public service staff such as police officers, firefighters and prison staff.[234]
  • Chancellor Rishi Sunak extends the subsidised wage scheme for furloughed workers for another month, to the end of June.[235]

18 AprilEdit

  • Imran Ahmad-Khan, the MP for Wakefield, secures a shipment of 110,000 reusable face masks through his connections with charity Solidarités international and the Vietnamese Government for Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust to help tackle the shortage of PPE.[236]
  • Unions representing doctors and nurses express their concern at a change in government guidelines advising medics to reuse gowns or wear other kit if stocks run low.[237]
  • Speaking at the Downing Street daily briefing, Robert Jenrick, the Communities Secretary, says a further 400,000 gowns will be arriving from Turkey the following day.[238] (In the event, the shipment was delayed by several days,[239] and was said on 7 May to be unusable).[240]
  • The number of recorded deaths rises by 888 to 15,464.[241]
  • Care England, the UK's largest care homes representative body, estimates that as many as 7,500 care home residents may have died because of coronavirus, compared to the official figure of 1,400 released a few days earlier.[237]
  • Jenrick announces a further £1.6bn of support for local authorities, on top of £1.6bn that was given to them on 19 March.[242]
  • Jenrick says that the virus appears to be having a "disproportionate impact" on the Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities, while Stephen Powis says he has asked Public Health England to investigate what may be accounting for the increased risk within these groups.[242]
  • Jenrick says that parks and cemeteries must remain open during the lockdown.[243]

19 AprilEdit

  • The number of recorded deaths increases by 596 to 16,060, a lower increase than previous days. Dr Jenny Harries says the lower number of deaths is "very good news" but cautions against drawing conclusions from the figures.[244]
  • After a Sunday Times article suggests schools could reopen on 11 May, Gavin Williamson, the Secretary of State for Education, tells the Downing Street daily briefing he cannot give a date for when this will happen, and that the focus will be on helping children to learn at home, with lessons made available online and free loans of laptops for disadvantaged children.[244]
  • BBC One airs a UK version of the Together at Home concert, a virtual global concert staged to celebrate healthcare workers and featuring musicians playing from home. The two-hour broadcast includes highlights of the US version and features stories of frontline workers along with extra footage of British artists.[245][246]

20 AprilEdit

  • To protect bus drivers, Transport for London puts buses' front doors out of use, requiring passengers to board through the middle doors. Passengers are no longer required to pay, so that they do not need to use the card reader near the driver.[247]
  • Online applications for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme are opened, with 67,000 claims registered in the first 30 minutes.[248]
  • NHS Blood and Transplant asks those who have survived COVID-19 to donate blood for trials of a treatment that will involve giving the blood plasma of survivors to patients ill in hospital with the disease.[249]
  • The number of recorded deaths rises by 449, taking the total to 16,509, but Prof Dame Angela Maclean, the UK's deputy chief scientific adviser, says the number of confirmed cases is "flattening out".[250] The number of people in hospital for COVID-19 has begun to fall in Scotland, Wales and every region of England, with significant falls in London and the Midlands.[251]

21 AprilEdit

  • A further 823 deaths are recorded, taking the total to 17,337, a sharp rise on the previous day, but many of these relate to deaths that occurred in previous days and weeks, and some date back as far as March. Prof Sir David Spiegelhalter, of the University of Cambridge, says the figures suggest the UK is past the peak and in a "steadily" albeit slowly improving position.[252][253]
  • Figures released by the Office for National Statistics indicate deaths in England and Wales have reached a twenty year high, with 18,500 deaths from all causes in the week up to 10 April, about 8,000 more than the average for that time of year.[252] The deaths include those in care homes, where the 1,043 year-to-date deaths related to COVID-19 is a jump from the 217 reported a week ago.[254]
  • Matt Hancock says the government is "throwing everything" at developing a vaccine as he announces £42.5m for clinical trials being conducted by Imperial College London and the University of Oxford.[255]
  • Parliament reconvenes after the Easter recess with MPs approving a new arrangement with some in the House of Commons chamber and some attending via video link.[256]
  • Fundraiser Captain Tom Moore is the guest of honour at the opening of NHS Nightingale Hospital Yorkshire and the Humber in Harrogate.[257]

22 AprilEdit

  • Figures show that UK inflation fell to 1.5% in March, largely because of falls in the price of clothing and fuel ahead of the lockdown.[258]
  • Parliament holds the first virtual Prime Minister's Questions with Dominic Raab standing in for Boris Johnson, at which Raab confirms the target of 100,000 tests a day by the end of the month.[259]
  • The number of recorded deaths rises by 759 to 18,100.[259]
  • In a Commons statement Matt Hancock tells MPs "we are at the peak" of the outbreak but social distancing measures cannot be relaxed until the government's five tests have been met.[260] Professor Chris Whitty, the government's chief medical adviser, tells the Downing Street briefing the UK will have to live with some social distancing measures for at least the rest of the year, and that it is "wholly unrealistic" to expect life to suddenly return to normal in the short term.[261]
  • Doctors in Wales have written a joint letter to First Minister Mark Drakeford urging him to ban the use of second homes during the outbreak.[262]

23 AprilEdit

  • The number of recorded deaths increases by 616 to 18,738.[263]
  • The first human trials of a coronavirus vaccine in Europe begin in Oxford.[264]
  • A study involving 20,000 households in England, coordinated by the Office for National Statistics, will track the progress of COVID-19 and seek to better understand infection and immunity levels, with volunteers asked to provide nose and throat swabs on a regular basis to determine whether they have the virus.[265]
  • Matt Hancock states that daily test capacity has reached 51,000, and announces that all key workers and members of their households are now eligible for COVID-19 tests and will be able to book tests through the government website from the following day.[266] Tests will be conducted at drive-through centres or using home testing kits,[267] while mobile testing units operated by the armed forces would increase in number from the present eight to 92, with a further four operated by civilians in Northern Ireland.[268]
  • Hancock also announces preparations to reactivate contact tracing in a later phase of the outbreak, including the recruitment of 18,000 contact tracers to greatly supplement Public Health England's staff.[266]
  • As the Scottish Government publishes details of a strategy for ending lockdown, Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister of Scotland, says the lifting of restrictions in Scotland is "likely to be phased" with some measures remaining in place until 2021 "and beyond".[269]
  • DIY chain B&Q confirms it has reopened 155 of its stores following a trial opening of a small number of outlets the previous weekend.[270]
  • BBC One airs The Big Night In, a first-of-its-kind joint broadcast with Children in Need and Comic Relief, and featuring an evening of music and entertainment. The broadcast celebrates the acts of kindness, humour and the spirit of hope and resilience that is keeping the nation going during the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, with viewers given a chance to donate to a fund helping local charities and projects around the country.[271] The event raises £27m for charity, with the government pledging to double that amount.[272]
  • At 8pm the UK stages a fifth round of applause for NHS staff and key workers.[273]

24 AprilEdit

  • A further 768 recorded deaths takes the total to 19,506.[274]
  • The website for key workers to book a coronavirus test temporarily closes after a high demand for the tests; 5,000 test kits are ordered within its first two minutes online. The government says it will make more tests available.[275]
  • Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announces bilateral discussions with the Irish and French governments to safeguard freight routes, and with the Northern Ireland Executive regarding support for passenger flights.[276] Funding is to be provided to support ferry routes to Northern Ireland,[276] the Isle of Wight and the Isles of Scilly.[277]
  • A version of "You'll Never Walk Alone" recorded by Captain Tom Moore and Michael Ball to raise money for the NHS Charities Together fund reaches number one in the UK Singles Chart.[278]
  • The Northern Ireland Executive agrees to reopen cemeteries in Northern Ireland following public pressure; they had been closed since March.[279]

25 AprilEdit

  • The number of recorded deaths increases by 813, taking the total past 20,000 to 20,319. Thus the UK becomes the fifth country to pass the 20,000 mark along with the United States, Italy, Spain and France.[280]
  • After figures show that A&E attendances are half their usual level, the health service urges people to seek healthcare if needed and not be put off by the coronavirus outbreak.[281]
  • COVID-19 tests for key workers are booked up within an hour.[282]
  • Guernsey partially lifts its lockdown restrictions, allowing gardeners, mechanics, estate agents and builders to return to work.[283]

26 AprilEdit

  • The number of recorded deaths rises by 413 taking the total to 20,732. The figure of 413 is the lowest daily total in April.[284]
  • Professor Stephen Povis tells the Downing Street daily briefing the benefit of social distancing is beginning to be felt, with the stabilisation of the number of new cases, and a reduction of the number of people in hospital.[285]

27 AprilEdit

  • In his first public statement since returning to work, Boris Johnson says the UK is "at the moment of maximum risk" but "we are now beginning to turn the tide" as he urges people not to lose patience with the restrictions.[286]
  • The government announces that the families of NHS and care workers who die because of COVID-19 will be entitled to a payment of £60,000.[287]
  • The number of recorded deaths from COVID-19 rises by 360, taking the total to 21,092. This is the lowest daily rise for four weeks.[288]

28 AprilEdit

  • Figures from the Office for National Statistics for the week ending 17 April show 22,351 deaths registered in England and Wales, nearly double the five-year average and the highest weekly total since comparable records began in 1993.[289]
  • The ONS report indicates a third of coronavirus deaths in England and Wales are occurring in care homes, with 2,000 recorded in the week ending 17 April,[290] and the number of deaths from all causes in care homes is almost three times the number recorded three weeks ago.[289]
  • Matt Hancock announces that care home figures will be included in the daily death toll from the following day; official figures have previously included only hospital data.[291]
  • The number of recorded deaths rises by 586 to 21,678.[292]
  • Testing capacity reaches 73,000 per day, although only 43,000 were carried out the previous day. Matt Hancock announces that testing will be expanded from the following day to include all care home workers, and people (and their family members) with symptoms who must leave home for their job or are aged over 65.[293]
  • At 11am the UK holds a minute's silence to remember key workers who have died from COVID-19.[294]
  • The Scottish Government recommends people cover their faces while in some public places such as shops and on public transport.[295]

29 AprilEdit

  • Speaking to the House of Commons Education Select Committee, Gavin Williamson, the Secretary of State for Education says that the reopening of schools will take place in a "phased manner".[296]
  • Official figures begin including deaths in care homes and the community, meaning the number of recorded deaths rises by 4,419 to 26,097. Dominic Raab tells the Downing Street daily briefing the figures have been included retrospectively, and account for care home and community deaths between 2 March and 28 April. In the most recent 24-hour period there have been 765 deaths.[297][298]

30 AprilEdit

  • The number of recorded deaths rises by 674 to 26,771.[299]
  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson says the UK is "past the peak" of the COVID-19 outbreak but that the country must not "risk a second spike", and announces that he will set out "comprehensive plan" for easing the lockdown "next week". He also stresses the importance of keeping down the reproductive rate, which "is going to be absolutely vital to our recovery".[300]
  • Captain Tom Moore celebrates his 100th birthday, and is made an honorary colonel by the Queen. His appeal to raise money for the NHS reaches £32m.[301]
  • At 8pm the UK stages its weekly round of applause for NHS staff and key workers.[302]
  • ITV announces plans to resume filming live studio-based shows such as Britain's Got Talent and The Masked Singer, but without the presence of an audience.[303]
  • The British Library is to archive hundreds of essays submitted to BBC Radio 4's PM programme by listeners detailing their coronavirus experiences. The Covid Chronicles, launched in March, has seen listeners submit their accounts of their lives during the lockdown restrictions, some of which have been broadcast.[304]

MayEdit

1 MayEdit

  • The number of recorded deaths increases by 739 to 27,510.[305]
  • Matt Hancock confirms the government's target of providing (but not necessarily completing) 100,000 tests a day by the end of April has been met, with 122,347 provided over the previous 24 hours.[306]
  • Hancock announces that fertility clinics will be allowed to open again from 11 May.[307]
  • "Times Like These", a charity single by the Live Lounge Allstars released to raise funds for those affected by the pandemic, reaches number one in the UK Singles Chart.[308]
  • Facebook deletes the account of conspiracy theorist David Icke for posting misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic, including claims it is being spread by the 5G network.[309]

2 MayEdit

  • The number of recorded deaths increases by 621 to 28,131.[310]
  • Robert Jenrick announces £76m of funding to help vulnerable people, including children, victims of domestic violence and modern slavery, who may be "trapped in a nightmare" during the lockdown restrictions.[311]
  • Some recycling centres, including those in Greater Manchester, begin to reopen after six weeks.[312]
  • YouTube becomes the latest social media platform to remove David Icke's official account.[313]

3 MayEdit

  • The number of recorded deaths rises by 315 to 28,446.[314]
  • In an interview with the Sun on Sunday, Boris Johnson speaks about how contingency plans were made for the event of his death while he was in intensive care.[315]
  • An NHS contact tracing app designed to track and prevent the spread of COVID-19 will be trialled on the Isle of Wight during the forthcoming week.[316]

4 MayEdit

5 MayEdit

  • The number of recorded deaths rises by 693 to 29,427,[320] giving the UK the highest number of COVID-19 related deaths in Europe.[321]
  • Figures from the Office for National Statistics for the week ending 24 April show 21,997 deaths from all causes registered in England and Wales; this is a decrease of 354 from the previous week but still nearly twice the five-year average for the time of year. Deaths per week in hospital are falling while those in care homes continue to increase, and for the year to 24 April, 5,890 deaths in care homes involved COVID-19.[4]
  • Trials of the NHS contact-tracing app start on the Isle of Wight with the app being made available to healthcare and council workers.[322]
  • NHS Nightingale Hospital North East, a temporary critical care hospital built near Sunderland for COVID-19 patients, is officially opened by Health Secretary Matt Hancock. The virtual ceremony features TV celebrities Ant and Dec, football pundit Alan Shearer and cricketer Ben Stokes.[323]
  • Figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) indicate just 4,321 new cars were registered in April, the lowest monthly number since 1946 and a 97% fall on sales from April 2019; 70% of new cars for the month were company fleet vehicles.[324]
  • Airline operator Virgin Atlantic announces it has shed more than 3,000 jobs and ended operations at Gatwick Airport as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.[325]
  • Sir Patrick Vallance tells the House of Commons Health Select Committee earlier testing for COVID-19 would have been "beneficial" but would not have prevented the spread of the virus.[326]
  • Professor Neil Ferguson, whose advice led the government to implement the lockdown restrictions, resigns from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies after the Daily Telegraph reports a woman named as his "married lover" visited his home during the restrictions.[327]

6 MayEdit

  • At his first Prime Minister's Questions since returning to work Boris Johnson says he "bitterly regrets" the crisis in care homes and is "working very hard" to tackle it. Johnson also pledges to reach a target of 200,000 daily UK coronavirus tests by the end of May.[328]
  • A further 649 deaths take the number of recorded deaths to 30,076.[329]
  • John Holland-Kaye, the CEO of Heathrow Airport, tells the Transport Select Committee that the airport is trialling large-scale temperature checks at departure gates.[330]

7 MayEdit

  • A further 539 recorded deaths take the total number of COVID-19 related deaths to 30,615.[331]
  • The government confirms that 400,000 gowns ordered from Turkey to protect NHS staff from coronavirus have been impounded, after failing to meet the required safety standards.[332][240]
  • The Bank of England warns that the economy is on course to shrink by 14% in 2020 because of the impact of COVID-19, pushing the UK into its deepest recession on record.[333]
  • Nicola Sturgeon extends the lockdown restrictions in Scotland for another three weeks, but says they could be changed if there is evidence it is safe to do so.[334]
  • Baroness Dido Harding, chair of NHS Improvement and former CEO of TalkTalk, is appointed to lead the government's programme of testing and tracing.[335] Testing will be led by Sarah-Jane Marsh, chief executive of Birmingham Women's and Children's Hospitals, and tracing will be led by Tom Riordan, chief executive of Leeds City Council.[336]
  • The 2020 Notting Hill Carnival, scheduled for the August Bank Holiday weekend, is cancelled because of the COVID-19 outbreak.[337]
  • The UK stages another round of applauouse for NHS staff and key workers, the seventh to be held on consecutive Thursdays at 8pm.[338]

8 MayEdit

  • Mark Drakeford, the First Minister of Wales, extends the lockdown restrictions for a further three weeks but with some minor changes. People are allowed to exercise outside more than once a day and councils can plan for the reopening of libraries and tips. Some garden centres can also reopen.[339]
  • The number of recorded deaths rises by 626 to 31,241. They include a six-week-old baby.[340]
  • With the UK beginning another Bank Holiday weekend, Environment Secretary George Eustace urges the public to abide by the rules of the lockdown restrictions and warns people have to be "realistic" about the loosening of the measures.[341]

9 MayEdit

  • A further 346 recorded deaths take the total to 31,587.[342]
  • Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announces £2bn of investment to improve walking and cycling, describing it as a chance for a "once in a generation change" to the way the public travels.[343]

10 MayEdit

  • The UK government updates its coronavirus message from "stay at home, protect the NHS, save lives" to "stay alert, control the virus, save lives". The Opposition Labour Party expresses concern the slogan could be confusing, and leaders of the devolved governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland say they will keep the original slogan.[344]
  • A new alert scale system is announced, ranging from green (level one) to red (level five), similar to the UK's Terror Threat Levels.[345]
  • Nicola Sturgeon removes the once-a-day outdoors exercise limit in Scotland starting from the following day.[346]
  • The number of recorded deaths increases by 269 to reach 31,855.[347]
  • A recorded address by Boris Johnson is broadcast at 7pm in which he outlines a "conditional plan" to reopen society, but says it is "not the time simply to end the lockdown this week", and describes the plans as "the first careful steps to modify our measures". Those who cannot work from home, such as construction workers and those in manufacturing, are encouraged to return to work from the following day, but to avoid public transport if possible. The guidance on the number of outdoor exercise periods will be lifted from Wednesday 13 May.[348]
  • Outlining future easing of restrictions, Johnson says "step two" – no sooner than 1 June – would include reopening some shops and the return of primary school pupils, beginning with reception, Year 1 and Year 6; and that secondary pupils facing exams next year would get some time in school before the summer holiday. "Step three" – at the earliest by July – would begin the reopening of the hospitality industry and other public places.[349]
  • Johnson also says that passengers arriving into the UK on international flights (apart from those from the Republic of Ireland) will soon be asked to go into quarantine for fourteen days.[350]
COVID-19 alert level system[351][352]
Level Meaning
 5  As level 4 and there is a material risk of healthcare services being overwhelmed
 4  A COVID-19 epidemic is in general circulation; transmission is high or rising exponentially
 3  A COVID-19 epidemic is in general circulation
 2  COVID-19 is present in the UK, but the number of cases and transmission is low
 1  COVID-19 no longer present in the UK

11 MayEdit

  • The UK government publishes a 50-page document setting out further details of the phases for lifting the lockdown restrictions. Boris Johnson gives further details as he makes his first statement on the virus to Parliament.[353][354]
  • Amid concerns about the safety of people returning to work, Johnson tells the Downing Street daily briefing he is not expecting a "sudden big flood" of people returning to work, and that companies will have to prove they have introduced safety measures before they can reopen.[355]
  • The UK government advises people in England to wear face coverings in enclosed spaces where social distancing is not possible, such as on public transport and in shops.[356]
  • A further 210 deaths takes the total to 32,065.[357]
  • Air passengers arriving on flights from France will also be exempt from new quarantine rules.[358]
  • Sir David Norgrove, chair of the UK Statistics Authority, writes to Matt Hancock seeking clarity on the targets for the number of tests, and the reporting of the number carried out each day.[359]
  • Teaching unions express their concern at government plans to reopen schools on 1 June, describing them as "reckless" and unsafe.[360]

12 MayEdit

  • Figures released by the Office for National Statistics and the devolved administrations indicate the death toll from COVID-19 exceeds 40,000 – including almost 11,000 care home residents[361] – although week-by-week numbers continue to fall.[362] In care homes in England and Wales, the year-to-date COVID-19 total reaches 8,312 but the weekly number (to 1 May) shows a decrease for the first time since the start of the pandemic.[362]
  • The Northern Ireland Executive publishes a five-stage plan for exiting lockdown. Unlike those announced in England and the Republic of Ireland, the plans do not include any dates when steps may be taken.[363][364]
  • Chancellor Rishi Sunak extends the UK's furlough scheme until October, with employees continuing to receive 80% of their monthly wages up to £2,500. A quarter of the workforce, some 7.5 million people, are now covered by the scheme, costing £14bn a month.[365]
  • The number of recorded deaths rises by 627 to 32,692.[366]
  • The Reading and Leeds Festivals, scheduled for the weekend of 28–30 August, are cancelled because of the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.[367]

13 MayEdit

  • Lockdown measures are eased in England, allowing people to spend more time outside, meet someone from another household providing it is on a one-to-one basis and they practise social distancing, and play physically distanced sports, such as golf. Garden centres are also allowed to open.[368] House moves and viewings are now permitted under the changes.[369]
  • After figures indicate the UK economy shrank by 2% in the first three months of 2020 and is shrinking at the fastest rate since the late 2000s global recession, Chancellor Rishi Sunak says it is "very likely" the country is in a "significant recession".[370]
  • A further 494 deaths take the total to 33,186.[371]
  • Creamfields, scheduled for 27–30 August, announces the cancellation of the 2020 edition due to the pandemic.[372]

14 MayEdit

  • The number of recorded deaths increases by 428 to 33,614.[373]
  • A total of 126,064 tests for COVID-19 have been conducted in the most recent 24 hour period, the highest number to date.[374]
  • Figures compiled by NHS England giving a breakdown of underlying health conditions among COVID-19 hospital fatalities between 31 March and 12 May indicate one in four had diabetes. Other common health conditions were dementia (18%), serious breathing problems (15%), chronic kidney disease (14%), and ischaemic heart disease (10%).[375]
  • The Office for National Statistics publishes results of the early phase of a survey programme in England. From swab tests between 27 April and 10 May, they estimate that 148,000 people, or 0.27% of the population, had COVID-19 at any given time during those two weeks (95% confidence interval: 94,000 to 222,000).[376] This implies roughly 10,000 new cases per day.[377] No significant difference is found between broad age groups. Their estimate for people working in healthcare or social care is higher, at 1.33% (confidence interval: 0.39% to 3.28%). The survey does not include people in hospital or care homes, where rates of infection are likely to be higher still.[376]
  • Public Health England approves a blood test developed by Roche Diagnostics that can detect COVID-19 antibodies.[378]
  • Northern Ireland First Minister Arlene Foster announces the first steps for easing the lockdown in Northern Ireland, with garden centres and recycling centres allowed to reopen from Monday 18 May. Marriage ceremonies where a person is terminally ill will also be allowed.[379]
  • The Office for Budget Responsibility forecasts the cost to government of combating the coronavirus pandemic has risen to £123.2bn, with annual borrowing estimated to be 15.2% of the UK economy. This figure is the highest annual borrowing since the end of World War II when it stood at 22.1%.[380]
  • Transport for London is given £1.6bn of emergency government funding to keep bus and tube services running until September.[381]
  • The BBC announces plans to resume the filming of EastEnders and Top Gear in June, with cast and crew practising social distancing, and doing their own hair and makeup.[382]
  • The UK stages its eighth Clap for Our Carers event at 8pm.[383]

15 MayEdit

  • Government scientific advice says that the R number has increased slightly from between 0.5 and 0.9 to between 0.7 and 1.0, closer to the rate at which infections could start to exponentially increase. The figures are said to be "consistent with" the fall in cases in the community and the rise of cases in care homes, but are based on data from three weeks previously, so the effect of easing the lockdown measures is unknown.[384]
  • The number of recorded deaths rises by 384 to 33,998.[385]
  • A report on deaths in care homes in England and Wales from the Office for National Statistics finds 9,039 deaths between 2 March and 1 May, and a further 3,444 deaths of residents in hospital. In this period, COVID-19 was involved in 27% of all deaths of care home residents. Since the last week of March, non-COVID deaths have been higher than previous years; deaths of residents from all causes peaked around 14 April.[386]
  • Matt Hancock announces that every resident and staff member in care homes in England will be tested for COVID-19 by early June.[387]
  • First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford outlines a "traffic lights" route out of lockdown for Wales, which he describes as being "in the red zone", but does not give any dates for when the restrictions will be eased.[388]
  • Government scientists and teaching unions hold talks in a bid to safely reopen schools.[389] The British Medical Association voices its support for the unions over their concerns about the safety of resuming classes.[390]
  • The places of worship task force, a body consisting of leading members of faith groups and government representatives, has its inaugural meeting. The group was established in response to Boris Johnson's 10 May address, in which he said religious buildings could reopen by 4 July, and aims to examine how this can happen safely.[391]

16 MayEdit

17 MayEdit

  • In an article for The Mail on Sunday, Boris Johnson acknowledges frustrations with the government's "stay alert" message for England, but urges the public to be patient as the lockdown measures are eased.[396]
  • The number of recorded deaths rises by 170 to 34,636. The daily increase is the lowest since the day after the lockdown restrictions were introduced.[397]
  • At the Downing Street daily briefing, Business Secretary Alok Sharma announces a further £84m of funding to help mass-produce a COVID-19 vaccine being trialled by the University of Oxford and that should be available by September. He also tells the briefing that Oxford have secured an agreement with pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca to manufacture the vaccine, and distributed it to the UK first.[398]

18 MayEdit

  • Rail operators begin running more train services, while security guards trained in crowd control are placed on duty at some major railway stations.[399]
  • The London congestion charge is reinstated, and buses in London begin charging passenger fares once again. As part of the £1.6bn deal to bail out Transport for London, the congestion charge will also rise from £11.50 to £15 from 22 June.[400]
  • Jury trials resume at a handful of courts in England and Wales, having been suspended since the beginning of the lockdown restrictions.[401]
  • The UK adds loss of smell and loss of taste to the list of COVID-19 symptoms that people should look out for.[402]
  • Health Secretary Matt Hancock announces that anyone in the UK over the age of five with symptoms can now be tested for COVID-19.[403]
  • Matt Hancock also confirms that 21,000 contact tracers have been recruited across the UK and are ready to begin work.[404]
  • The number of recorded deaths rises by 160 to 34,796.[405]
  • Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab tells the Downing Street daily briefing that it is “not sustainable” to keep the lockdown in place “permanently” but that the Government is monitoring the changes it makes.[406]
  • First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon sets out plans to begin easing Scotland's lockdown restrictions from 28 May.[407]
  • The 2020 Chelsea Flower Show begins, and is held as a virtual festival for the first time.[408]
  • English Premier League football clubs vote to allow teams to begin training in small groups from the following day as a step towards restarting football in England.[409]
  • Celtic are declared Scottish champions for the ninth season in a row while Hearts are relegated after the Scottish Professional Football League ends the 2019–20 season early because of the COVID-19 outbreak.[410]

19 MayEdit

  • Northern Ireland further eases its lockdown measures. Groups of up to six people who do not share the same household are allowed to meet up outdoors, so long as they maintain social distancing. Churches are allowed to reopen for private prayer, and the playing of sports such as golf and tennis can resume.[411]
  • Figures from the Office for National Statistics show the number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance increased by 856,500 in April, to 2.1 million. In response to this Chancellor Rishi Sunak says that it will take time for the UK economy to recover and it is "not obvious there will be an immediate bounceback".[412]
  • A further 545 deaths are recorded, taking the total to 35,341.[413]
  • As figures show there have been 11,600 deaths in care homes as a result of COVID-19, Professor Martin Green, chair of Care England, criticises the government for the way it handled the outbreak in care homes, and tells MPs they should have been prioritised from the start.[414]
  • Security researchers identify major security issues with the NHS COVID-19 tracing app being piloted on the Isle of Wight, and call for new legislation to prevent officials using the data collected for purposes other than identifying those at risk from the virus.[415]
  • Captain Tom Moore, who raised £32m for NHS charities, is to be knighted for his fundraising efforts following a special nomination from Boris Johnson.[416]

20 MayEdit

  • At Prime Minister's Questions, Boris Johnson confirms that a track and trace system will be in place from 1 June.[417]
  • The Government faces mounting pressure from councils and teaching unions to reconsider its plans to reopen primary schools from 1 June. Robert Buckland, the Secretary of State for Justice, says the Government is taking all concerns "very seriously">[418]
  • Rolls-Royce announce plans to cut 9,000 jobs as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, and warns that it could take several years for the airline industry to recover.[419]
  • The number of recorded deaths rises by 363 to 35,704.[420]
  • The number of people in hospital with COVID-19 drops below 10,000 for the first time since March.[421]
  • People with diabetes are being strongly advised to follow government advice after a study by NHS England found the condition was linked to a third of coronavirus deaths between 1 March and 11 May. Diabetics are not among the people who have been told to shield themselves, but some may be asked to do so if they are deemed to be at high risk because of a combination of health conditions.[422]
  • At the Downing Street daily briefing, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Oliver Dowden announces the establishment of a task force that will look at how sporting and arts events can resume safely. The task force will include former women's footballer Alex Scott and television executive Michael Grade.[423]
  • Dowden announces that £150m from dormant bank accounts will be used to help charities and social enterprises.[424]
  • The 2020 Queen's Birthday Honours is delayed until the autumn in order to recognise the "everyday Covid heroes" who have played a role in supporting and protecting society during the crisis.[425]

21 MayEdit

  • The NHS Confederation warns that time is running out to finalise a test, track and trace strategy to avoid a possible second surge in coronavirus cases.[426]
  • First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon outlines a four-phase "route map" for easing lockdown restrictions in Scotland that will include allowing people to meet up outside with people from one other household in the first phase. The lockdown will be eased from 28 May subject to the number of new cases of COVID-19 continuing to fall.[427] Schools in Scotland will reopen on 11 August, when students will receive a "blended model" of part-time study at school combined with some learning at home.[428]
  • Northern Ireland Education Minister Peter Weir outlines plans for schools to reopen in Northern Ireland in August, with a phased return for students.[429]
  • Following an agreement between the Government and the Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche, a COVID-19 antibody test is made available through the NHS, with health and care staff to be the first to receive it. The test checks to see if someone has had the virus.[430]
  • The Government announces that NHS staff and care workers from overseas will be exempt from the immigration health surcharge that usually applies to non-EU migrants.[431]
  • The number of recorded deaths rises by 338 to 36,042.[432]
  • The Office for National Statistics estimate that 137,000 people in England, or 0.25% of the population, had COVID-19 at any given time between 4 May and 17 May (excluding those in hospitals, care homes or other institutions). This implies around 8,700 new infections per day, compared to the 10,000 estimate made two weeks ago.[433]
  • ITV announces that its soap Emmerdale has started a "phased return to filming" with six new episodes being recorded at its studios in Leeds.[434]
  • The UK stages its ninth weekly Clap for Our Carers event at 8pm.[435]

22 MayEdit

  • The number of recorded deaths rises by 351 to 36,393.[436]
  • The Government unveils new quarantine rules for travellers to the UK that will require them to self-isolate for fourteen days from 8 June.[437]
  • The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies publishes its evidence on the safety and impact of reopening schools on 1 June. It says the risk to school pupils is "very, very small, but it is not zero", while the risk to teachers is not above average when compared to other occupations.[438]
  • The Office for National Statistics reports that government borrowing rose to £62bn in April, the highest monthly figure on record, after heavy spending to ease the coronavirus crisis.[439]
  • Guernsey announces plans to move to Stage Four of its lockdown restrictions from 30 May, six weeks earlier than originally planned. This will allow restaurants and cafes, hairdressers and beauticians, cinemas, gyms and sports venues to reopen. The announcement comes after the island had 22 consecutive days with no new COVID-19 cases.[440] Schools on the island will also reopen for all students on 8 June.[441]
  • Annemarie Plas, credited as starting the weekly Clap for Our Carers, suggests it should end after its tenth week as the public have shown their appreciation, and should instead become an annual celebration of frontline workers.[442]

23 MayEdit

  • The French Government announces that travellers to France from the UK will have to quarantine for fourteen days from 8 June.[443]
  • The number of recorded deaths rises by 282 to 36,675. The latest deaths include that of a 12-year-old child.[444]
  • Dominic Cummings, Boris Johnson's chief political adviser, comes under mounting pressure to resign after a joint investigation by the Daily Mirror and The Guardian revealed that he travelled 260 miles from London to Durham to self-isolate during lockdown and while his wife was displaying COVID-19 symptoms. In response to the story, Downing Street says that Cummings travelled to the north east to be near relatives who could look after his young son if he became ill himself.[445]
  • Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announces £283m of investment in buses and light rail services in order to help improve safety, but warns capacity will be at a fifth of pre-lockdown levels because of social distancing measures. Extra martials at stations from 1 June are also announced, as well as permission for ten rail reopening projects to proceed to make business cases under the "reversing the Beeching cuts" initiative.[446]

24 MayEdit

  • A further 118 deaths are recorded in the UK, taking the total to 36,793.[447]
  • After The Observer and the Sunday Mirror print allegations that Dominic Cummings made a second trip to the north east during lockdown, Boris Johnson gives his chief aide his backing at the Downing Street daily briefing, saying that Cummings had "no alternative" but to travel for childcare "when both he and his wife were about to be incapacitated by coronavirus" and has "acted responsibly, legally and with integrity". Johnson describes some of the claims as "palpably false".[448]
  • Johnson also confirms plans (outlined on 10 May) for the phased reopening of schools in England from 1 June: from that date, they will reopen for early years pupils, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6. For the first time he states that from 15 June a quarter of Year 10 and Year 12 students will be allowed "some contact" to help prepare for exams.[449]

25 MayEdit

  • Dominic Cummings says "I don't regret what I did" as he gives a detailed explanation of his actions during lockdown at a press conference in the Downing Street Rose Garden.[450]
  • A further 121 recorded deaths take the total to 36,914.[451]
  • Boris Johnson confirms plans to reopen car showrooms and outdoor markets from 1 June, and for all non-essential shops to reopen from 15 June.[452]
  • Education Secretary Gavin Williamson warns the virus "could be with us for a year or more" and children cannot stay off school for "months and months".[453]
  • Weston General Hospital in Somerset temporarily stops admitting new patients because of a high number of COVID-19 cases.[454]
  • The Football Association confirms that the 2019–20 Women's Super League and 2019–20 Women's Championship have ended immediately, with the outcome of winners and relegations to be decided.[455]

26 MayEdit

  • A further 134 recorded deaths brings the total to 37,048.[456]
  • For the first day since 18 March, no new COVID deaths are reported in Northern Ireland. Robin Swann, the Northern Ireland Health Minister, describes it as "a clear sign of progress".[457]
  • Death registration figures for the week ending 15 May show the lowest number of COVID-19 deaths since the beginning of April.[458]
  • Remdesivir, a drug that can speed up the recovery time of patients with COVID-19, is made available through the NHS.[459]
  • Douglas Ross resigns as a junior minister with the Scotland Office over the government's defence of Dominic Cummings, while at least 35 Conservative MPs call for Cummings to be removed from his post.[460]
  • Tate Britain annouces that the annual Turner Prize will not be awarded in 2020 because of the upheaval created by the COVID outbreak.[461]

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