HOME
        TheInfoList






Demographics

A 'visiting window' at a nursing home in Wetherby, West Yorkshire designed to reduce transmission to vulnerable residents.

Statistics suggest that certain groups in British society have been partially effected by the pandemic both medically and by the impact of lockdown.[390]

Coronavirus risk and ethnicity

In April 2020, the British Medical Association called on the government to investigate if and why people from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) groups were more vulnerable to COVID-19, after the first 10 doctors to die were all from the group.[391] The Labour Party called for a public enquiry after the first 10 deaths in the health service were from BAME backgrounds.[392] The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan wrote to the Equality and Human Rights Commission asking them to investigate whether the effects of coronavirus on BAME groups could have been prevented or mitigated.[393] A group of 70 BAME figures sent a letter to Boris Johnson calling for an independent public enquiry into the disproportionate impact of the coronavirus on people from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds.[394]

Research by the Intensive Care National Audit and Research Centre concluded that people from BAME backgrounds made up 34% of critical patients.[395] NHS England and Public Health England were appointed to lead an inquiry into why people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds appear to be disproportionately affected by coronavirus.[396] On 18 April, Public Health England said that they would start recording the ethnicity of victims of coronavirus.[397]

Research carried out by The Guardian newspaper concluded that ethnic minorities in England when compared to white people were dying in disproportionately high numbers. They said that deaths in hospitals up to 19 April 19% were from BAME backgrounds who make up only 15% of the population of England.[398]

The Office for National Statistics (ONS), meanwhile, wrote that in England and Wales black men were four times more likely to die from coronavirus than white men, from figures gathered between 2 March to 10 April.[399][400] They concluded that "the difference between ethnic groups in COVID-19 mortality is partly a result of socio-economic disadvantage and other circumstances, but a remaining part of the difference has not yet been explained". Some commentators including Dr. John Campbell have pointed to Vitamin D deficiency as a possible cause of the discrepancy, but the theory remains unproven.[401]

Another study carried out by University of Oxford and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine on behalf of NHS England and a separate report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies corroborated the ONS' findings.[402][403][404] An Oxford University led study into the impact of COVID-19 on pregnancy concluded that 55% of pregnant women admitted to hospital with coronavirus from 1 March to 14 April were from a BAME background. The study also concluded that BAME women were four times more likely to be hospitalised than white women.[405][406]

A study by Public Health Scotland found no link between BAME groups and COVID-19.[407] A second Public Health England study found that those with a Bangladeshi heritage were dying at twice the rate of white Britons. Other BAME groups had between 10% and 50% higher risk of death from COVID-19.[408][409][410]

Fines and ethnicity

Figures from the Metropolitan Police showed that BAME people received proportionally more fines than white people for breaching COVID-related restrictions.[411]

Coronavirus risk and employment status

The ONS study, using data collected up to 17 April 2020 across England and Wales, concluded that men in low-skilled jobs

Winter 2019–20: Arrival and embedment

September 2019 - January 2020 : Suspected cases

In May 2020, the BBC reported that several members of a choir in Yorkshire had suffered COVID-19-like symptoms shortly after the partner of one of the choir members returned from a business trip to Wuhan, China, on 17 or 18 December.[52]

Earlier, in March 2020, it was reported that a 50-year-old man from East Sussex fell ill, also with COVID-19 symptoms, on 20 January after he returned from Ischgl in Austria, which is under investigation because it failed to report early cases on February. Also, the three other members of his family have experienced same symptoms. Additionaly, his two friends from Denmark and one from Minnesota, US have same symptoms.[53][54]

In June 2020 BBC reported it was found coronavirus in UK had at least 1356 origins, mostly from Italy (late February), Spain (early-to-mid-March), and France (mid-to-late-March).[55] Same month, it was reported that 53-year old woman fell ill on 6 January, two days after returning from Obergurgl resort in Austria. [56]

In August 2020 the Kent coroner reportedly certified that the death of Peter Attwood (aged 84) on 30 January had been related to COVID-19 ('COVID-19 infection and bronchopneumonia', according to an email on 3 September, after COVID-19 was detected in his lung tissue), making him the first confirmed UK victim of the disease. He first showed symptoms on 15 December 2019.[57] Attwood had not travelled overseas.[58]

In November 2020 it was reported that 66-year old has experienced symptoms shortly after returing from holiday in Italy in September 2019, and similar was with 44-year old daughter. Scientists had previously speculated about COVID-19 in Italy as early as September 2019. [59]

January 2020: First confirmed cases

On 22 January, following a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the United States the previous day, in a man returning to Washington from Wuhan, China, where there were 440 confirmed cases at the time, the DHSC and Public Health England (PHE) raised the risk level from "very low" to "low". As a result, Heathrow Airport received additional clinical support and tightened surveillance of the three direct flights from Wuhan every week; each was to be met by a Port Health team with Mandarin and Cantonese language support. In addition, all airports in the UK were to make written guidance available for unwell travellers.[60][61] Simultaneously, efforts to trace 2,000 people who had flown into the UK from Wuhan over the previous 14 days were made.[62][63]

On 31 January, the first UK cases were confirmed in York.[64][65] On the same day, British nationals were evacuated from Wuhan to quarantine at Arrowe Park Hospital.[66] However, due to confusion over eligibility, some people missed the flight.[66]

BBC reported that several members of a choir in Yorkshire had suffered COVID-19-like symptoms shortly after the partner of one of the choir members returned from a business trip to Wuhan, China, on 17 or 18 December.[52]

Earlier, in March 2020, it was reported that a 50-year-old man from East Sussex fell ill, also with COVID-19 symptoms, on 20 January after he returned from Ischgl in Austria, which is unde

Earlier, in March 2020, it was reported that a 50-year-old man from East Sussex fell ill, also with COVID-19 symptoms, on 20 January after he returned from Ischgl in Austria, which is under investigation because it failed to report early cases on February. Also, the three other members of his family have experienced same symptoms. Additionaly, his two friends from Denmark and one from Minnesota, US have same symptoms.[53][54]

In June 2020 BBC reported it was found coronavirus in UK had at least 1356 origins, mostly from Italy (late February), Spain (early-to-mid-March), and France (mid-to-late-March).[55] Same month, it was reported that 53-year old woman fell ill on 6 January, two days after returning from Obergurgl resort in Austria. [56]

In August 2020 the Kent coroner reportedly certified that the death of Peter Attwood (aged 84) on 30 January had been related to COVID-19 ('COVID-19 infection and bronchopneumonia', according to an email on 3 September, after COVID-19 was detected in his lung tissue), making him the first confirmed UK victim of the disease. He first showed symptoms on 15 December 2019.[57] Attwood had not travelled overseas.[58]

In November 2020 it was reported that 66-year old has experienced symptoms shortly after returing from holiday in Italy in September 2019, and similar was with 44-year old daughter. Scientists had previously speculated about COVID-19 in Italy as early as September 2019. [59]

On 22 January, following a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the United States the previous day, in a man returning to Washington from Wuhan, China, where there were 440 confirmed cases at the time, the DHSC and Public Health England (PHE) raised the risk level from "very low" to "low". As a result, Heathrow Airport received additional clinical support and tightened surveillance of the three direct flights from Wuhan every week; each was to be met by a Port Health team with Mandarin and Cantonese language support. In addition, all airports in the UK were to make written guidance available for unwell travellers.[60][61] Simultaneously, efforts to trace 2,000 people who had flown into the UK from Wuhan over the previous 14 days were made.[62][63]

On 31 January, the first UK cases were confirmed in York.On 31 January, the first UK cases were confirmed in York.[64][65] On the same day, British nationals were evacuated from Wuhan to quarantine at Arrowe Park Hospital.[66] However, due to confusion over eligibility, some people missed the flight.[66]

On 6 February, a third confirmed case was reported in Brighton – a man who returned from Singapore and France to the UK on 28 January.[67][68][69] Following confirmation of his result, the UK's CMOs expanded the number of countries where a history of previous travel associated with flu-like symptoms—such as fever, cough, and difficulty breathing—in the previous 14 days would require self-isolation and calling NHS 111. These countries included China, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand.[70]

On 23 February, the DHSC confirmed four new cases from the On 23 February, the DHSC confirmed four new cases from the Diamond Princess cruise ship.[71]

A Nike conference on 26–27 February in Edinburgh led to at least 25 cases, including 8 residents of Scotland. Health Protection Scotland established an incident management team at the time and traced contacts from delegates.[72] A report by Glasgow University on genomic epidemiology and the conference concluded this did not lead to further spread of the virus.[73][74]

On 27 February, the first cases were confirmed in Northern Ireland.[75][76]

On 28 February, the first case was confirmed in Wales, and a passenger on the Diamond Princess became the first Briton to die from the virus.[77]

On 1 March, a further 13 cases were reported including new cases in Greater Manchester; bringing the total to 36, three of which were believed to be contacts of the case in Surrey who had no history of travel abroad.[78][79] First case of the virus reported in Scotland.[80]

On 3 March, the UK Government unveiled their Coronavirus Action Plan, which outlined what the UK had done and what it planned to do next.[3] Paul Cosford, a medical director at Public Health England, said widespread transmission of COVID-19 in the United Kingdom was "highly likely".[81]

On 5 March, the first death from COVID-19 (within the UK), a woman in her 70s, was reported in Reading,[82] and the second, a man in his 80s in Milton Keynes, was reported to have died later that day.[83][84]

On 3 March, the UK Government unveiled their Coronavirus Action Plan, which outlined what the UK had done and what it planned to do next.[3] Paul Cosford, a medical director at Public Health England, said widespread transmission of COVID-19 in the United Kingdom was "highly likely".[81]

On 5 March, the first death from COVID-19 (within the UK), a woman in her 70s, was reported in Reading,[82] and the second, a man in his 80s in Milton Keynes, was reported to have died later that day.[83][84]

On 12 March, the total of cases in the UK was reported to be 590.[3] On the same day, the UK CMOs raised the risk to the UK from moderate to high.[85] The government advised that anyone with a new continuous cough or a fever should self-isolate for seven days. Schools were asked to cancel trips abroad, and people over 70 and those with pre-existing medical conditions were advised to avoid cruises.[86][87]

2020 United Kingdom local elections were postponed for a year.[88]

On 16 March, Prime Minister Boris Johnson advised everyone in the UK against "non-essential" travel and contact with others, as well as suggesting people should avoid pubs, clubs and theatres, and work from home if possible. Pregnant women, people over 70 and those with certain health conditions were urged to consider the advice "particularly important", and would be asked to self-isolate within days.[46] On the same day, a second MP, Kate Osborne, tested positive after a period of self-isolation.[89][90][91][92]

[46] On the same day, a second MP, Kate Osborne, tested positive after a period of self-isolation.[89][90][91][92]

On 17 March, NHS England announced that all non-urgent operations in England would be postponed from 15 April to free up 30,000 beds.[93] General practice moved rapidly to remote working. In March 2020 the proportion of telephone appointments increased by over 600%.[94] Also, the government provided a £3.2million emergency support package to help rough sleepers into accommodation.[95][96] With complex physical and mental health needs, in general, homeless people are at a significant risk of catching the virus.[95]

On 18 March, Welsh minister for education Kirsty Williams announced that schools will close from Friday, this was followed closely by a similar announcement by Nicola Sturgeon.[97] By evening, a joint press conferenced held by Arlene Foster and Michelle O’Neill followed suit, and later in the day Boris Johnson announced that schools in England would also close to all pupils from 20 March until further notice. He also announced that public examinations would not take place as a result.[98][99]

On 19 March, the UK Government downgraded the status of COVID-19 from a "high consequence infectious disease" (HCID) after consideration by the UK HCID group and the [97] By evening, a joint press conferenced held by Arlene Foster and Michelle O’Neill followed suit, and later in the day Boris Johnson announced that schools in England would also close to all pupils from 20 March until further notice. He also announced that public examinations would not take place as a result.[98][99]

On 19 March, the UK Government downgraded the status of COVID-19 from a "high consequence infectious disease" (HCID) after consideration by the UK HCID group and the Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens.[100][101]

On 20 March, the government announced the closure of public venues, such as pubs, restaurants, gyms, leisure centres, nightclubs, theatres and cinemas.[102] The chancellor, Rishi Sunak also announced that the government would cover 80% of the salaries of retained workers until restrictions were over.[103]

On 23 March, having previously advised the public to avoid pubs and restaurants, Boris Johnson announced in a television broadcast that measures to mitigate the virus were to be tightened to protect the NHS, with wide-ranging restrictions on freedom of movement, enforceable in law,[17] under a stay-at-home order which would last for at least three weeks.[104] The slogan "Stay home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives" was introduced, often seen in capital letters, on a yellow background, with a red border.

The government directed people to stay home throughout this period except for essential purchases, essential work travel (if remote work was not possible), medical needs, one exercise per day (alone or with household members), and providing care for others.[105] Many other non-essential activities, including all public gatherings and social events except funerals, were prohibited, with many categories of retail businesses ordered to be closed.[17][106]

Despite the announcement, the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020, which made the sweeping restrictions legally enforceable, did not take effect until three days later on 26 March.[107] The government directed people to stay home throughout this period except for essential purchases, essential work travel (if remote work was not possible), medical needs, one exercise per day (alone or with household members), and providing care for others.[105] Many other non-essential activities, including all public gatherings and social events except funerals, were prohibited, with many categories of retail businesses ordered to be closed.[17][106]

Despite the announcement, the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020, which made the sweeping restrictions legally enforceable, did not take effect until three days later on 26 March.[107]

Operation Rescript and Operation Broadshare saw the deployment of the COVID Support Force, a military task force to support public services and civilian authorities in tackling the outbreak within the United Kingdom and overseas.[108]

On 26 March, the number of UK coronavirus deaths increased by more than 100 in a day for the first time, rising to 578, while a total of 11,568 had tested positive for the virus.[109] At 8:00 pm that day, people from across the UK took part in applause in appreciation of health workers, later branded as Clap for Our Carers.[110][111] This gesture was repeated on the next nine Thursdays, up to 28 May.[112]

On 27 March, Boris Johnson and Matt Hancock announced that they had tested positive for the virus.[113][114] On the same day, Labour Party MP Angela Rayner, the Shadow Secretary of State for Education, confirmed she had been suffering symptoms and was self-isolating.[115]

Chief Medical Adviser Chris Whitty also reported suffering from symptoms and would be self-isolating, while continuing to advise the UK government.[116] That day also saw the largest increase in the number of deaths, with the figure rising by 181 from the previous day, bringing the total to 759, while 14,579 cases had been confirmed.[117]

Chief Medical Adviser Chris Whitty also reported suffering from symptoms and would be self-isolating, while continuing to advise the UK government.[116] That day also saw the largest increase in the number of deaths, with the figure rising by 181 from the previous day, bringing the total to 759, while 14,579 cases had been confirmed.[117]

On 29 march, it was reported that the government would send a letter to 30 million households warning things would "get worse before they get better" and that tighter restrictions could be implemented if necessary. The letter would also be accompanied by a leaflet setting out the government's lockdown rules along with health information.[118] Dr Jenny Harries, England's deputy chief medical officer, suggested it could be six months before life could return to "normal", because social distancing measures would have to be reduced "gradually".[119] The first NHS nurse died of COVID-19.[120]

On 30 March, the Prime Minister's senior adviser Dominic Cummings was reported to be self-isolating after experiencing coronavirus symptoms. He had been at Downing Street on 27 March and was stated to have developed symptoms over 28 and 29 March.[121]

Also, transmission within the community was thought to be decreasing, and hospital admission data suggested cases were increasing at a slower rate.[122] The Foreign and Commonwealth Office repatriated tens of thousands of British nationals who had been stranded abroad by the coronavirus outbreak.[123]

April 2020: Lockdown continues

Dominic Cummings was reported to be self-isolating after experiencing coronavirus symptoms. He had been at Downing Street on 27 March and was stated to have developed symptoms over 28 and 29 March.[121]

Also, transmission within the community was thought to be decreasing, and hospital admission data suggested cases were increasing at a slower rate.[122] The Foreign and Commonwealth Office repatriated tens of thousands of British nationals who had been stranded abroad by the coronavirus outbreak.[123]

On 1 April, the government confirmed that a total of 2,000 NHS staff had been tested for coronavirus since the outbreak began, but Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove said a shortage of chemical reagents needed for COVID-19 testing meant it was not possible to screen the NHS's 1.2 million workforces.[124] Gove's statement was contradicted by the Chemical Industries Association, which said there was 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.[125]

On 2 April, Health Secretary Matt Hancock, after his seven-day period of isolation, announced a "five pillar" plan for testing people for the virus, with the aim of conducting 100,000 tests a day by the end of April.[126] The plan referred to ambitions to:

  • scale up swab testing in PHE labs and NHS hospitals for those with a medical need and the most critical workers to 25,000 a day in England by mid to late April, with the aligned testing strategies of the NHS in the Devolved Administrations benefiting from PHE's partnership with Roche through a central UK allocation mechanism;
  • deliver increased commercial swab testing for critical key workers in the NHS across the UK, before then expanding to key workers in other sectors;
  • develop blood testing to help know if people across the UK have the right antibodies and so have high levels of immunity to coronavirus;
  • conduct UK-wide surveillance testing to learn more about the spread of the disease an

    On 2 April, Health Secretary Matt Hancock, after his seven-day period of isolation, announced a "five pillar" plan for testing people for the virus, with the aim of conducting 100,000 tests a day by the end of April.[126] The plan referred to ambitions to:

    On 4 April, Boris Johnson was admitted to hospital as a "precautionary measure" after suffering from symptoms for more than a week with no improvement.[128] Catherine Calderwood, the Chief Medical Officer for Scotland, resigned from her post after it emerged she had been spoken to by police for visiting her second home during lockdown.[129] On 6 April, Johnson was moved to the intensive care unit at St Thomas' Hospital in London as his symptoms worsened. First Secretary of State Dominic Raab assumed Johnson's duties.[130]

    On 7 April the UK Government Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, said that death figures were not accelerating as had been predicted but it was too early to tell whether the outbreak was peaking.[131][132] On 9 April, the number of daily recorded deaths was 881, taking the total to 7,978. Dominic Raab said the UK was "starting to see the impact" of the restrictions but it was "too early" to lift them, and urged people to stay indoors over the Easter weekend.[133]

    On 10 April, the UK recorded another 980 deaths, taking the total to 8,958. Jonathan Van-Tam, England's deputy chief medical officer, told the UK Government's daily briefing the lockdown was "beginning to pay off" but the UK was still in a "dangerous situation", and although On 7 April the UK Government Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, said that death figures were not accelerating as had been predicted but it was too early to tell whether the outbreak was peaking.[131][132] On 9 April, the number of daily recorded deaths was 881, taking the total to 7,978. Dominic Raab said the UK was "starting to see the impact" of the restrictions but it was "too early" to lift them, and urged people to stay indoors over the Easter weekend.[133]

    On 10 April, the UK recorded another 980 deaths, taking the total to 8,958. Jonathan Van-Tam, England's deputy chief medical officer, told the UK Government's daily briefing the lockdown was "beginning to pay off" but the UK was still in a "dangerous situation", and although cases in London had started to drop they were still rising in Yorkshire and the North East.[134] Johnson left hospital on 12 April.[135]

    On 14 April, figures released by the Office of National Statistics indicated that coronavirus had been 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.[136] Several UK charities, including Age UK and the Alzheimer's Society, expressed their concern that older people were being "airbrushed" out of official figures because they focused on hospital deaths while not including those in care homes or a person's own home.[137]

    Matt Hancock announced new guidelines that would allow close family members to see dying relatives to say goodbye to them. Hancock also launched a new network to provide personal protective equipment to care home staff.[138] On that day, NHS England and the Care Quality Commission began rolling out tests for care home staff and residents as it was reported the number of care home deaths was rising but that official figures, which relied on death certificates, were not reflecting the full extent of the problem.[139] Also on 15 April, Arlene Foster, the First Minister of Northern Ireland, extended the period of lockdown in Northern Ireland to 9 May.[140]

    On 16 April, Dominic Raab revealed that lockdown restrictions would continue for "at least" another three weeks, and to relax them too early would "risk wasting all the sacrifices and all the progress that has been made". He set out five conditions for any easing of the lockdown .[141] On that day the number of recorded deaths increased by 861 to 13,729, while the number of cases of the virus passed 100,000, reaching 103,093.[142]

    On 18 April, unions representing doctors and nurses expressed concern at a change in government guidelines advising medics to reuse gowns or wear other kits if stocks run low.[143] Robert Jenrick, the Secretary of State for Local Government, announced a further £1.6bn of support for local authorities, on top of £1.6bn that was given to them at the beginning of the outbreak.[144]

    On 29 April, the number of people who had died with coronavirus in the UK passed 26,000, as official figures include deaths in the community, such as in care homes, for the first time.[145] On 30 April, Boris Johnson said the country was "past the peak of this disease".[23]

    On 5 May, the UK death toll became the highest in Europe and second highest in the world.[146]

    On 7 May, the lockdown in Wales was extended by the Welsh Government, with some slight relaxations.[147][148]

    On 10 May, Prime Minister Johnson asked those who could not work from home to go to work, avoiding public transport if possible; and encouraged the taking of "unlimited amounts" of outdoor exercise, and allowing driving to outdoor destinations within England. In his statement he changed the "Stay at Home" slogan to "Stay Alert".[149] The devolved administrations in Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales did not adopt the new slogan as there had been no agreement with the UK government to change it, and because the announcement sent a mixed message to the public.[150][151]

    [147][148]

    On 10 May, Prime Minister Johnson asked those who could not work from home to go to work, avoiding public transport if possible; and encouraged the taking of "unlimited amounts" of outdoor exercise, and allowing driving to outdoor destinations within England. In his statement he changed the "Stay at Home" slogan to "Stay Alert".[149] The devolved administrations in Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales did not adopt the new slogan as there had been no agreement with the UK government to change it, and because the announcement sent a mixed message to the public.[150][151]

    On 11 May, Johnson published a 60-page document called "Our Plan to rebuild: the UK Government's COVID-19 recovery strategy", with details of the COVID-19 recovery strategy for the UK. In the report a new COVID-19 alert level system was announced.[152] At the same time the Cabinet Office published guidance on "staying safe outside your home", comprising eleven principles which "all of us" should adopt "wherever possible".[153]

    In May a COVID-19 alert system was announced, to be run by a new joint biosecurity centre. When first announced, Johnson stated that the UK was on level 4, moving towards level 3.[154][152][155]

    The Health and Safety Executive stated that from 9 March to 7 May they were contacted 4,813 times. Around 8% of the complaints related to Scotland. The executive managed to resolve 60% of them while another 40% needed further investigation, with some workplaces suspended whilst safety measures were put in place. As of 17 May the executive had not issued any enforcement notices in relation to COVID-19.[156]

    On 25 May, the prime minister's adviser Dominic Cummings was criticised over his alleged breaches of the lockdown rules.[157][158]

    In May a COVID-19 alert system was announced, to be run by a new joint biosecurity centre. When first announced, Johnson stated that the UK was on level 4, moving towards level 3.[154][152][155]

    The Health and Safety Executive stated that from 9 March to 7 May they were contacted 4,813 times. Around 8% of the complaints related to Scotland. The executive managed to resolve 60% of them while another 40% needed further investigation, with some workplaces suspended whilst safety measures were put in place. As of 17 May the executive had not issued any enforcement notices in relation to COVID-19.[156]

    On 25 May, the prime minister's adviser Dominic Cummings was criticised over his alleged breaches of the lockdown rules.[157][158] Cummings rejected the allegations, denying that he had acted illegally.[159] On 28 May, Durham police said that no offence had been committed when Cummings had travelled from London to Durham and that a minor breach might have occurred at Barnard Castle, but as there had been no apparent breach of social distancing rules, no further action would be taken.[160]

    The evening of 28 May saw the final Clap for Our Carers event.[112] Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced an easing of the lockdown in Scotland from the following day, with people able to meet friends and family outside in groups of no more than eight but keeping two metres apart.[161]

    On 1 June, Primary schools in England reopened to some reception (4-5 years), year 1 (5-6 years) and year 6 (10-11 years) pupils with social distancing measures in place.

    On 3 June, briefings began[162] (later referred to as 'press conferences') in a series that was set up by Welsh Government as a way of dispersing new information to the people of Wales regarding the COVID-19 pandemic in Wales.

    On 6 June, Parliament Square in London, saw thousands of people participating in the Black Lives Matter protest against racism and police violence in the UK, following the death of George Floyd apparently caused by US police in Minneapolis, Minnesota. On 7 June, Health Minister Matt Hancock stated that although he supports the argument of the protests, there is "undoubtedly" a risk of a potential rise in the number of COVID-19 cases and the spread of the virus.[163] Non-essential shops reopened across the UK during this month.[164][165][166][167]

    On 8 June, the government introduced new quarantine rules from anyone coming into the UK, requiring individuals to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.

    On 15 June, England made face masks compulsory on all public transport. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps still advised people not to use public transport, but acknowledged that for some people this wasn't an option, especially as the use of public transport had been increasing throughout late May and early June, which brought fears of the coronavirus being transmitted on public transport.

    On 3 June, briefings began[162] (later referred to as 'press conferences') in a series that was set up by Welsh Government as a way of dispersing new information to the people of Wales regarding the COVID-19 pandemic in Wales.

    On 6 June, Parliament Square in London, saw thousands of people participating in the Black Lives Matter protest against racism and police violence in the UK, following the death of George Floyd apparently caused by US police in Minneapolis, Minnesota. On 7 June, Health Minister Matt Hancock stated that although he supports the argument of the protests, there is "undoubtedly" a risk of a potential rise in the number of COVID-19 cases and the spread of the virus.[163] Non-essential shops reopened across the UK during this month.[164][165][166][167]

    On 8 June, the government introduced new quarantine rules from anyone coming into the UK, requiring individuals to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.

    On 15 June, England made face masks compulsory on all public transport. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps still advised people not to use public transport, but acknowledged that for some people this wasn't an option, especially as the use of public transport had been increasing throughout late May and early June, which brought fears of the coronavirus being transmitted on public transport.

    On 2 July, the government revised the total number of cases down by 30,302 because some people were counted twice in the earlier figures. The actual increase in the number of cases for 2 July was 576 or 0.18%.[3]

    Also on 2 July, the UK Government removed 75 countries from the England related quarantine list since they were now dubbed "low risk". Travellers entering the UK would no longer have to self-isolate.

    On 17 July, the Health Secretary Matt Hancock called for an urgent review into how coronavirus deaths were recorded in England. Public Health England had said that the figures for deaths included people that had tested positive for the virus months before their death.[169]

    On 24 July, in England, new regulations made it compulsory to wear face coverings in most indoor shops and public spaces. Those breaking the rules could be fined up to £100. Face coverings remained optional in some indoor venues where wearing a mask might be 'impractical', such as restaurants and gyms. Exemptions were made for children under 11, individuals with physical or mental illness or disability, and for anyone to whom it might cause distress.[170]

    On 25 July, the government added Spain back onto the quarantine list due to a spike in cases. This drew criticism from the Spanish PM, Pedro Sánchez, as the outbreak was largely only happening in Catalonia.

    On 27 July, the first confirmed case of an animal infection with SARS-CoV-2 in the UK was reported, having been detected in a pet cat.[171] UK health officials said that the cat had probably contracted the coronavirus from its owners, but there was no evidence that pets or other domestic animals can transmit the disease to humans.[171]

    On 30 July, the UK government announced that people in Greater Manchester, east Lancashire and parts of West Yorkshire faced new restrictions, banning separate households from meeting each other at home after a spike in COVID-19 cases. The new lockdown rules, which came into force at midnight, meant people from different households were not allow

    Also on 2 July, the UK Government removed 75 countries from the England related quarantine list since they were now dubbed "low risk". Travellers entering the UK would no longer have to self-isolate.

    On 17 July, the Health Secretary Matt Hancock called for an urgent review into how coronavirus deaths were recorded in England. Public Health England had said that the figures for deaths included people that had tested positive for the virus months before their death.[169]

    On 24 July, in England, new regulations made it compulsory to wear face coverings in most indoor shops and public spaces. Those breaking the rules could be fined up to £100. Face coverings remained optional in some indoor venues where wearing a mask might be 'impractical', such as restaurants and gyms. Exemptions were made for children under 11, individuals with physical or mental illness or disability, and for anyone to whom it might cause distress.[170]

    On 25 July, the government added Spain back onto the quarantine list due to a spike in cases. This drew criticism from the Spanish PM, Pedro Sánchez, as the outbreak was largely only happening in Catalonia.

    On 27 July, the first confirmed case of an animal infection with SARS-CoV-2 in the UK was reported, having been detected in a pet cat.[171] UK health officials said that the cat had probably contracted the coronavirus from its owners, but there was no evidence that pets or other domestic animals can transmit the disease to humans.[171]

    On 30 July, the UK government announced that people in Greater Manchester, east Lancashire and parts of West Yorkshire faced new restrictions, banning separate households from meeting each other at home after a spike in COVID-19 cases. The new lockdown rules, which came into force at midnight, meant people from different households were not allowed to meet in homes or private gardens.[172]

    On 31 July, the UK government announced they were delaying a further ease of lockdown restrictions in England until at least 15 August due to recent increases in cases. This ease of lockdown restrictions would have allowed "higher risk settings", including bowling alleys, skating rinks and casinos, to open on 1 August.[173]

    By the end of the month, levels of travel and commerce had started to recover across the UK, but not yet returned to pre-pandemic levels.[174]

    On 2 August, a major incident was declared in Greater Manchester after rises in coronavirus infection rates.[175][176]

    On 12 August, the death count for England was reduced by more than 5,000[177] to 41,329. Previously, people in England who died at any point following a positive test, regardless of cause, were counted in the figures. However, the other UK nations had a cut-off period of 28 days.[178]

    On 14 August, thousands of UK holidaymakers in France were rushing to the borders to the UK, following the announcement of anyone returning from France after 4 am on 15 August to self-isolate for fourteen days, causing massive ques and traffic jams at the harbours and eurotunnel.[179]

    On 28 August, shortly before the reopening of schools at full capacity in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, New Scien

    On 12 August, the death count for England was reduced by more than 5,000[177] to 41,329. Previously, people in England who died at any point following a positive test, regardless of cause, were counted in the figures. However, the other UK nations had a cut-off period of 28 days.[178]

    On 14 August, thousands of UK holidaymakers in France were rushing to the borders to the UK, following the announcement of anyone returning from France after 4 am on 15 August to self-isolate for fourteen days, causing massive ques and traffic jams at the harbours and eurotunnel.[179]

    On 28 August, shortly before the reopening of schools at full capacity in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, New Scientist examined the three-month history of the test and trace system. The magazine noted that the system had not met its targets and had been affected by an internet outage in Southampton in the second week of August, affecting contact tracing for several thousand people. It criticised both the lack of a backup for such a vital system and the lack of transparency.[180]

    On 6 September, concerns were raised over an increased number of cases in the preceding few days, a trend that continued into the following week.[181]

    On 8 September, the government published new social distancing rules to come into effect in England from 14 September, wherein all gatherings of separate households would be restricted to groups of six or few people (the so-called "rule of six"), excluding work or educational settings.[182] Similar rules were also later announced (to begin on the same date) in Scotland and Wales, although – unlike in England – with exemptions for young children.[183]

    On 9 September, these rules were further elaborated in a government press conference, alongside details of new legal requirements for data gathering on behalf of venues, social distancing "marshals" to enforce restrictions, and the outline of a "moonshot" plan to further control the virus with greatly expanded mass virus testing.[184] The £100bn "mo

    On 8 September, the government published new social distancing rules to come into effect in England from 14 September, wherein all gatherings of separate households would be restricted to groups of six or few people (the so-called "rule of six"), excluding work or educational settings.[182] Similar rules were also later announced (to begin on the same date) in Scotland and Wales, although – unlike in England – with exemptions for young children.[183]

    On 9 September, these rules were further elaborated in a government press conference, alongside details of new legal requirements for data gathering on behalf of venues, social distancing "marshals" to enforce restrictions, and the outline of a "moonshot" plan to further control the virus with greatly expanded mass virus testing.[184] The £100bn "moonshot" plan was derided as lacking expert input by Professor Jon Deeks of the University of Birmingham and Cochrane, speculating on the consequences of false positives that might go along with testing such a large number of people.[185]

    From 14 September onwards, the BBC reduced their daily coverage of the Welsh Government's announcements to two to three times a week 'due to cuts'. In Scotland, more than 25,000 signed a petition calling on the BBC to reverse its decision.[186]

    On 18 September, the government tightened restrictions further in parts of the north-east of England. Pubs were told to close every day from 10pm to 5am, and households were not allowed to mix. Later, new restrictions were announced for parts of the North West of England, Midlands and West Yorkshire.[188] By now 13.5 million people, around 1 in every 5 UK residents, were living under some degree of extra local restrictions, including much of Northern England and Central Scotland, several council areas in the Midlands and South Wales, along with parts of Belfast and other areas in Northern Ireland.[188]

    On 21 September, the UK's coronavirus alert level was upgraded from 3 to 4, indicated the disease's transmission is "high or rising exponentially".[189] This decision followed a warning from the UK government's Chief Scientific Advisor earlier that day, that the UK could be seeing 50,000 cases a day by October unless further action was taken to slow the virus's spread.[190] Fears of a "second lockdown" caused a drop in UK stocks,[191] although the following day the Prime Minister stated that potential additional restrictions would be "by no means a return to the full lockdown of March".[192]

    On 22 September, tightening of coronavirus restrictions were announced by the UK government for England and the devolved administrations in the rest of the UK. Including 10pm closing times for pubs across the UK and a ban on households meeting in other households in Scotland.[193][194][195][196] In a televised address to the nation, Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated that additional rules to combat the case rise could last for a further 6 months.[192]

    On 29 September, the UK reported the highest daily rise in new infections with a total of 7,143 new cases.[197]

    October 2020: Circuit breakers

    On 1 October, restrictions were tightened further in the North-East of England, now banning all indoor gatherings within households. The UK Government also advised people in the regions not to meet outside, although they did not ban people from meeting outside.

    On 2 October, Margaret Ferrier, MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West received calls from other politicians, including the Scottish First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon to resign from her seat. She had been suspended from the SNP for travelling from Scotland to London to attend a coronavirus debate in the House of Commons while awaiting a coronavirus test result, and then travelling back to Scotland after testing positive for COVID-19. Police also began an investigation.[198][199][200][201]

    On 3 October, Public Health England announced that a 'technical error' had caused under-reporting of new cases for recent dates, and that the missing positive results would be declared over the forthcoming days. The number of new cases declared on 3 October was approximately double the rate prevailing over the preceding few days.[202]

    On 4 October, Public Health England made a further announcement that 15,841 cases had been left out of the daily case figures between 25 September and 2 October and that these would be added to the figures for 3 and 4 October. The error was caused by a limit on the number of columns in an Excel spreadsheet.[203][204][205] Hugh Pym, the BBC's health editor, said that daily figures for the end of the week were "actually nearer 11,000"; around 7,000 had been reported. Referring to the glitch, Labour used the term "shambolic".[206] A smoothed curve of estimates from the COVID Symptom Study suggested that new cases might be estimated to be running just below 8,000 per day.[207] After the corrections, total infections in the UK surpassed 500,000 – the fourth country in Europe to pass that milestone.

    Tiered restrictions in England on 24 October 2020. Pink indicates Tier 1 (Medium), Orange indicates Tier 2 (High) and Red indicates Tier 3 (Very High)

    On 12 October, a three-tier legal framework was introduced in England to help curb the spread of coronavirus in local and regional lockdowns, coming into effect on 14 October. Liverpool became the first region under a Tier 3, which ordered the closure of pubs. Households were also banned from mixing with each other in parts of the North-East of England and Manchester.[208][209] The Harrogate, Manchester and Sunderland Nightingale Hospitals were also told to reopen as hospital admissions had risen above the peak in March.[210]

    On 13 October, daily deaths increased by more than 100 for the first time since 27 July with 143 deaths recorded in the 24-hour period.

    On 14 October, the Northern Irish government announced that from 16 October, Pubs, Restaurants and school closures as well as a ban on mixing in households would come into force, essentially putting Northern Ireland in lockdown. Pubs and Restaurants would be closed for 4 weeks whereas schools would only be shut for 2 weeks.[211]

    On 15 October, the government announced that London would move to Tier 2 lockdown following a spike in cases,[212] banning people from mixing indoors privately, while Greater Manchester would move to Tier 3, two months after a Major Incident was declared. The Tier 3 restrictions on Greater Manchester were delayed as Johnson was in a dispute with the mayor, Andy Burnham, who wanted additional financial support for the area.[213][214]

    [189] This decision followed a warning from the UK government's Chief Scientific Advisor earlier that day, that the UK could be seeing 50,000 cases a day by October unless further action was taken to slow the virus's spread.[190] Fears of a "second lockdown" caused a drop in UK stocks,[191] although the following day the Prime Minister stated that potential additional restrictions would be "by no means a return to the full lockdown of March".[192]

    On 22 September, tightening of coronavirus restrictions were announced by the UK government for England and the devolved administrations in the rest of the UK. Including 10pm closing times for pubs across the UK and a ban on households meeting in other households in Scotland.[193][194][195][196] In a televised address to the nation, Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated that additional rules to combat the case rise could last for a further 6 months.[192]

    On 29 September, the UK reported the highest daily rise in new infections with a total of 7,143 new cases.[197]

    On 1 October, restrictions were tightened further in the North-East of England, now banning all indoor gatherings within households. The UK Government also advised people in the regions not to meet outside, although they did not ban people from meeting outside.

    On 2 October, Margaret Ferrier, MP for On 2 October, Margaret Ferrier, MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West received calls from other politicians, including the Scottish First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon to resign from her seat. She had been suspended from the SNP for travelling from Scotland to London to attend a coronavirus debate in the House of Commons while awaiting a coronavirus test result, and then travelling back to Scotland after testing positive for COVID-19. Police also began an investigation.[198][199][200][201]

    On 3 October, Public Health England announced that a 'technical error' had caused under-reporting of new cases for recent dates, and that the missing positive results would be declared over the forthcoming days. The number of new cases declared on 3 October was approximately double the rate prevailing over the preceding few days.[202]

    On 4 October, Public Health England made a further announcement that 15,841 cases had been left out of the daily case figures between 25 September and 2 October and that these would be added to the figures for 3 and 4 October. The error was caused by a limit on the number of columns in an Excel spreadsheet.[203][204][205] Hugh Pym, the BBC's health editor, said that daily figures for the end of the week were "actually nearer 11,000"; around 7,000 had been reported. Referring to the glitch, Labour used the term "shambolic".[206] A smoothed curve of estimates from the COVID Symptom Study suggested that new cases might be estimated to be running just below 8,000 per day.[207] After the corrections, total infections in the UK surpassed 500,000 – the fourth country in Europe to pass that milestone.

    On 12 October, a three-tier legal framework was introduced in England to help curb the spread of coronavirus in local and regional lockdowns, coming into effect on 14 October. Liverpool became the first region under a Tier 3, which ordered the closure of pubs. Households were also banned from mixing with each other in parts of the North-East of England and Manchester.[208][209] The Harrogate, Manchester and Sunderland Nightingale Hospitals were also told to reopen as hospital admissions had risen above the peak in March.[210]

    On 13 October, daily deaths increased by more than 100 for the first time since 27 July with 143 deaths recorded in the 24-hour period.

    On 14 October, the Northern Irish government announced that from 16 October, Pubs, Restaurants and school closures as well as a ban on mixing in households would come into force, essentially putting Northern Ireland in lockdown. Pubs and Restaurants would be closed for 4 weeks whereas schools would only be shut for 2 weeks.[211]

    On 15 October, the government announced that London would move to Tier 2 lockdown following a spike in cases,[212] banning people from mixing indoors privately, while Greater Manchester would move to Tier 3, two months after a Major In

    On 13 October, daily deaths increased by more than 100 for the first time since 27 July with 143 deaths recorded in the 24-hour period.

    On 14 October, the Northern Irish government announced that from 16 October, Pubs, Restaurants and school closures as well as a ban on mixing in households would come into force, essentially putting Northern Ireland in lockdown. Pubs and Restaurants would be closed for 4 weeks whereas schools would only be shut for 2 weeks.[211]

    On 15 October, the government announced that London would move to Tier 2 lockdown following a spike in cases,[212] banning people from mixing indoors privately, while Greater Manchester would move to Tier 3, two months after a Major Incident was declared. The Tier 3 restrictions on Greater Manchester were delayed as Johnson was in a dispute with the mayor, Andy Burnham, who wanted additional financial support for the area.[213][214]

    On 19 October, Labour MP Yasmin Qureshi was admitted to the Royal Bolton Hospital and was being treated for pneumonia, after testing positive for COVID-19. She had been feeling unwell for nearly two weeks, and was also self-isolating before being admitted to the hospital.[215][216] On the same day, Welsh first minister Mark Drakeford announced that Wales would go into a two week "time-limited firebreak" lockdown from the 23 October to 9 November. Leisure businesses, community centres, libraries, recycling centres and places of worship (apart from weddings and funerals) would shut whilst gatherings and the sale of non-essential goods would be banned. Schools and colleges would initially shut for the scheduled half term and only reopen in the second week for pupils in year 8 (12-13 years old) and below.[217][218]

    COVID-19 infection rates by age range in England

    On 30 October, the Office for National Statistics weekly infection survey in England showed that secondary school children ages 11 to 16 had the fastest rate of increase in COVID-19 incidence of any measured age range, giving them the second highest average incidence of 2.0% of any age range, fifty times higher than when children returned to school after the summer holiday, and slightly behind the 16 to 24 years old age range at 2.3% incidence.[219][220][221]

    Wales entered a 3-week firebreak period on 21 October, which was described by James Forsyth of the Spectator as "the most dramatic divergence between the UK nations yet".[222]

    On 31 October, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that England would enter a four-week national lockdown on 5 November, when pubs, restaurants, leisure centres and non-essential shops would close. Unlike in March, schools, colleges and universities would remain open. In addition, the furlough scheme was extended to the end of November.[223] This came as the UK became the ninth country to exceed 1 million cases of COVID-19 nationwide.[224]

    November 2020: New Lockdowns

    On 2 November, a five-level tier system came into force in Scotland to help curb the spread of COVID-19 in regional and local areas. In Scotland, Edinburgh, Glasgow and all towns in the central belt were placed on level 3.

    A three-tier system was implemented in England.[225] whereby:

    • Level 0 (Lowest) - A maximum of 8 people from three different households would be allowed to meet indoors.
    • Level 1 - A maximum of 6 people from two different households would be allowed to meet indoors. Pubs and restaurants would remain open, but still face a curfew at 10:30pm. Funerals and weddings would face a 20 person limit.
    • Level 2 - Households would be banned from mixing but a maximum of 6 people from different households can meet outside. Pubs and restaurants still face a curfew. Non-essential shops and hairdressers would remain open under these restrictions.
    • Level 3 - Rule of 6 applies to people meeting outside. Non-essential travel out of level three strictions was banned. Non-essential shops, hairdressers, pubs and restaurants would remain open, but alcohol sales would be banned.
    • Level 4 (Highest) - Rule of 6 still applies to people meeting outside. Travel limits and a 'Stay at Home' message would be enforced. All non-essential shops, hairdressers, pubs and restaurants would close. Schools would remain open.

    No regions of Scotland were immediately placed under level 4 restrictions.

Normal Exit PeriodicService.php