COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom

COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom
UK Coronavirus Cases per Local Authority as of the 20th of Jan 2021.png
COVID-19 cases by UK local authority, as of 20 January 2021.[needs update]
UK Coronavirus Deaths per Local Authority as of the 20th of Jan 2021.png
COVID-19 deaths by UK local authority, as of 20 January 2021.[needs update]
Thank you NHS sign on a Spitfire
NHS Nightingale Hospital in London
Deserted A1 road near Newry during the first lockdown in April 2020.
Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine deployed from late 2020
The National COVID Memorial Wall in London
Movement restrictions Sign at a Welsh county border
Clockwise, from top-left:
DiseaseCOVID-19
Virus strainSARS-CoV-2
LocationUnited Kingdom
First outbreakWuhan, China
Index caseYork, North Yorkshire
Arrival date31 January 2020
(1 year, 10 months and 5 days ago)[1]
DateAs of 30 September 2021
Confirmed cases
  • 8,270,182 (total)[2]
  • 246,196 (last 7 days)[2]
Active cases
Suspected cases726,895 (+60,796) [nb 3][5]
Hospitalised cases
  • 6,853 (active)[2]
  • 545,886 (total)[2]
Ventilator cases813 (active)[2]
Deaths
Fatality rate2.88%
  • Alpha variant 1.9%
  • Delta variant 0.2%[8]
Vaccinations
  • 51,046,133[9] (total vaccinated)
  • 46,462,638[9] (fully vaccinated)
  • 116,945,656[9] (doses administered)
Government website
UK Government[nb 6]
Scottish Government
Welsh Government
Northern Ireland Department of Health
Suspected cases have not been confirmed by laboratory tests as being due to this strain, although some other strains may have been ruled out.

The COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom is part of the worldwide pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The virus reached the UK in late January 2020. As of 11 November 2021, there had been 9,637,190 confirmed cases, the most in Europe and fifth highest number worldwide, and 145,874[9] deaths among people who had recently tested positive. The UK has the world's 7th highest death toll, 26th highest death rate by population[10][11] and second-highest death toll in Europe after Russia.[11] There has been some disparity between the outbreak's severity in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – health-care in the UK is a devolved matter. Each constituent country has its own publicly-funded healthcare system operated by devolved governments.[12][13][14]

The virus was known to have spread to the UK by early 2020. The country's response included a public information campaign and certain expansions to government powers, but was otherwise slow to introduce preventative measures, increase testing or prepare for an outbreak.[15] From March 2020 onwards,[16] the government introduced restrictions across the UK on aspects of life such as people's freedom of movement,[17] education,[18] and leisure activities.[19] Police were empowered to enforce the measures, and the Coronavirus Act 2020 gave all four governments emergency powers[20] not used since the Second World War.[21][22] These restrictions were eased and tightened periodically, and there was some variance in restrictions between the four countries of the UK and more localised rules were also introduced. In the early days of the pandemic, the health services worked to raise hospital capacity and set up temporary critical care hospitals, but faced shortages of personal protective equipment. In late 2020, a new more infectious variant of the virus emerged in the UK, causing another wave in infections over the winter that was deadlier than the first.[23][24] The country's vaccination programme was the first to start in December 2020 and was in early 2021 one of the fastest in the world.[25][26] The highly transmissible Delta variant arrived in the UK and drove a third wave of infections in mid-2021 that increased into the autumn,[27] although high vaccination rates led to a substantially lower mortality rate than previous waves.[28]

In addition to the major strain on the UK's healthcare service and a substantial fall in life expectancy, the pandemic has had a severe impact on the UK's economy, caused major disruptions to education and had far-reaching impacts on society.

  1. ^ Lillie, Patrick J.; Samson, Anda; Li, Ang; Adams, Kate; Capstick, Richard; Barlow, Gavin D.; Easom, Nicholas; Hamilton, Eve; Moss, Peter J.; Evans, Adam; Ivan, Monica (28 February 2020). "Novel coronavirus disease (Covid-19): The first two patients in the UK with person to person transmission". Journal of Infection. 80 (5): 600–601. doi:10.1016/j.jinf.2020.02.020. ISSN 0163-4453. PMC 7127394. PMID 32119884. Archived from the original on 18 March 2020. Retrieved 22 April 2020.
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  9. ^ a b c d Ritchie, Hannah; Mathieu, Edouard; Rodés-Guirao, Lucas; Appel, Cameron; Giattino, Charlie; Ortiz-Ospina, Esteban; Hasell, Joe; Macdonald, Bobbie; Beltekian, Diana; Dattani, Saloni; Roser, Max (2020–2021). "Coronavirus Pandemic (COVID-19)". Our World in Data. Retrieved 4 December 2021.
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  13. ^ "'Huge contrasts' in devolved NHS". BBC News. 28 August 2008. Archived from the original on 16 February 2009. Retrieved 7 May 2020.
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  16. ^ "Prime Minister′s statement on coronavirus (COVID-19): 16 March 2020". gov.uk. 16 March 2020. Archived from the original on 4 October 2020. Retrieved 6 October 2020. So third, in a few days′ time — by this coming weekend — it will be necessary to go further and to ensure that those with the most serious health conditions are largely shielded from social contact for around 12 weeks.
  17. ^ Cite error: The named reference :0 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  18. ^ "Coronavirus: UK schools, colleges and nurseries to close from Friday". BBC News. 18 March 2020. Archived from the original on 19 March 2020. Retrieved 29 August 2021.
  19. ^ "UK pubs and restaurants told to shut in virus fight". BBC News. 20 March 2020. Archived from the original on 27 May 2020. Retrieved 23 November 2020.
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  24. ^ "'New variant' of coronavirus identified in England". BBC News. 14 December 2020. Archived from the original on 26 December 2020. Retrieved 27 December 2020.
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  28. ^ Cite error: The named reference :8 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).


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