But now Britain is facing the barrel of a second wave during the winter months.
Boris Johnson is expected to address the nation on Tuesday from 8 p.m., including outlining new 10 p.m. curfew rules for the hospitality industry.
The Prime Minister will also tell people to return to working from home as long as it does not negatively affect business, reports the Daily Telegraph.
The newspaper says Mr Johnson will shut down ahead of a two-week “breaker” lockout, however.
When asked about the possibility of advising employees in the London office to work from home from next week, Health Secretary Matt Hancock told Times Radio on Monday: “Well, I wouldn’t rule it out.
During his speech, Mr Johnson is expected to reiterate messages on hand washing, wearing masks and social distancing amid skyrocketing infection rates.
In addition to the curfew, the hospitality sector will be limited by law to table service only from Thursday.
Mr Johnson will chair Cabinet and Cobra Emergency Committee meetings – including leaders from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – before a live televised speech.
It comes after the UK’s four chief medical officers recommended raising the Covid alert level from three to four – the second highest – indicating that “the epidemic is in general circulation; the transmission is high or increases exponentially ”.
And earlier on Monday, Sir Patrick Vallance – the chief scientific adviser – said the UK could see 50,000 cases of Covid-19 a day in mid-October and a daily death toll of 200 or more a month later , unless urgent action is taken.
A No 10 spokesperson said: “No one underestimates the challenges the new measures will pose for many people and businesses. We know it won’t be easy, but we need to take further action to control the resurgence of virus cases and protect the NHS.