The government figures below include only confirmed cases – some people with the disease are not tested.
Where are the current coronavirus hot spots in the UK?
At the start of the pandemic, London suffered the brunt of the impact of the coronavirus. After that, the center of the virus moved north and to parts of Northern Ireland before ascending to London and the south-east.
Daily life in the UK has been subject to varying degrees of restriction since March 2020, and various national lockdowns currently apply in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. These regulations are set by the legislative body of each country, so there are local differences.
Details of the English lockout are listed here, the Scottish lockdown here, Welsh here, and Northern Irish here.
How is the disease progressing in the UK?
Cases in the UK peaked in early April 2020, before dropping in late spring and summer. The numbers started to rise again in the fall, falling briefly in November before reaching an all-time high in January 2021. Since then cases have declined sharply, although the decline stabilized in March. The number of tests available affects the number of cases recorded.
The number of people hospitalized with coronavirus rose sharply after records began in late March 2020, peaking in April. That figure started to rise again in September and hit a new high in January 2021, although consistent with cases, has since declined.
Deaths passed their first wave peak in January 2021, with daily deaths again rising to more than 1,000.
Since UK regulators approved the Pfizer vaccine in December, the rollout of the vaccine in the UK has accelerated. Hundreds of thousands of people are now vaccinated every day.
Is the UK rolling out the vaccine fast enough?
The government plans to offer 32 million people (nearly half of the population) a first dose of the vaccine by mid-April. This means immunizing all nine priority groups, including all people over 50, all clinically vulnerable people, and frontline health and social service workers.
The government has successfully met its goal of delivering the first dose of vaccine to all four major priority groups by mid-February.
How the UK’s testing capacity expanded
The UK’s testing capacity has increased significantly since the first wave. This meant that when the second wave hit, a greater proportion of cases were registered, which pushed up the total number of registered cases.
Daily tests hit half a million in December, as the second wave began to take off, and hit 1 million when schools returned in early March.
In the first wave, the daily testing capacity was below 50,000 in April 2020, as the UK grappled with the onset of the pandemic.
How are case rates changing?
Lockdown has lowered case rates for everyone. But different age groups were affected differently. Throughout the pandemic, working-age people between the ages of 20 and 60 had the highest rates of infection. Meanwhile, those over 60 have had a lower overall case rate, in large part because they are more able to self-isolate.
Those under 20 also had a relatively low case rate. Scientists suggest that the coronavirus is less transmissible to children, although the impact of the reopening of schools in England on March 8 remains to be seen.
Find cases of coronavirus near you
From the table below, you can know the number of cases per 100,000 in your area, both for the past week and since the start of the pandemic.
About this data
This data comes from Public Health England, which works with decentralized authorities in Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.
Differences in the data collection and publication schedules can cause temporary inconsistencies. October 3 and 4 case totals include cases from previous days posted late due to a technical defect.
The government figures for deaths that are used in this follow-up include all deaths that occurred within 28 days of a positive test. This means they are able to quickly capture deaths in hospitals and nursing homes, two settings where testing is widely used.
The ONS, along with its counterparts in Scotland and Northern Ireland, captures death data differently. They count all the deaths for which Covid is listed on the death certificate. About 90% of these deaths are directly due to Covid while it is a contributing factor to the remaining deaths.
- Due to the unprecedented and continuing nature of the coronavirus outbreak, this article is regularly updated to ensure that it reflects the current situation as as good as possible. Any significant corrections to this or previous versions of the article will continue to be noted in accordance with Guardian’s editorial policy.