Covid UK: coronavirus cases, deaths and vaccinations today

    Coronavirus has hit the UK hard, with the country recording more than 6m cases and 130,000 deaths linked to the disease.

    The government figures below include confirmed cases only – some people who have the disease are not tested.

    Where are the UK’s current coronavirus hotspots?

    At the start of the pandemic, London bore the brunt of coronavirus’s impact. After that, the centre of the virus shifted northwards and to areas in Northern Ireland before rising again in London and the south-east. Hotspots have now developed again across the country.

    Everyday life in the UK has been subject to varying degrees of restriction since March 2020, although national restrictions were relaxed in all four nations of the UK over the summer of 2021.

    Details of the English guidance are listed here, Scottish guidance here, Welsh guidance here and Northern Irish here.

    How is the disease progressing in the UK?

    Cases in the UK first peaked in early April 2020, before falling in late spring and summer. Numbers started to increase again in the autumn, falling back briefly in November before reaching a record level in January 2021. Since then cases had declined sharply but have since increased again after the latest lockdown release. They now remain at a high but relatively stable level. The number of tests available affects the number of recorded cases.

    The number of people in hospital with coronavirus rose sharply after records started at the end of March 2020, peaking in April. That figure began rising again in September and reached a new record in January 2021. It is now at a relatively low level.

    Deaths surpassed their first-wave peak in January 2021, with daily deaths once again standing at over 1,000. As with hospitalisations, the number of deaths is now at a relatively low level, although there has been an uptick through the summer.

    How does the third wave compare to the second wave?

    Since mid-May 2021, cases shot up at a rate comparable to the start of the second wave in autumn 2020. However, hospitalisations and deaths remain much lower than at the equivalent time during the second wave. Scientists say this is at least partly down to the protective effects of vaccines.

    Which variants are dominant?

    The Alpha variant appeared in the UK in September 2020 and quickly became the dominant variant. Being more transmissible, it caused a major surge in cases in winter 2020/21. Since May, however, the Delta variant has been the dominant variant through the country.

    New variants are concerning because they may be more transmissible or more deadly than the original variant of the Covid-19 virus and vaccines may be less effective against them. Variants are identified by genome-sequencing a sample of positive tests. This process takes time, so numbers below may be up to several weeks behind other metrics like cases.

    How is the vaccine rollout progressing?

    Since UK regulators approved the Pfizer vaccine in December, the UK’s vaccine rollout has picked up pace. Until early July, hundreds of thousands of people were being vaccinated every day, although this has slowed down since.

    With vaccines open to over-18s in the UK from 8 June 2021, all adults should be able to get at least a first dose. However, in all age groups there is a persistent number of people who are not vaccinated. The lowest rates of vaccination are among younger age groups. While they were the last to be invited for vaccinations and so haven’t had enough time for a second dose, there are also concerns about vaccine hesitancy among younger people.

    How UK testing capacity has expanded

    The UK’s testing capacity has increased significantly since the first wave. This meant that, when the second wave hit, a higher proportion of cases were caught on record, pushing up the overall number of recorded cases.

    Daily testing hit half a million in December, as the second wave began to take off, and reached 1m when schools returned in early March.

    In the first wave, daily testing capacity was under 50,000 throughout April 2020 as the UK grappled with the beginning of the pandemic.

    How are case rates changing?

    Lockdown had brought down case rates for everyone. But different age groups have been affected differently. Throughout the pandemic working-age people aged between 20 and 60 have had the highest levels of infection.

    This has become more stark since the vaccine rollout has protected many of the more vulnerable elderly people in society, with case rates rising among the younger groups at the same time as case rates stay relatively low among older people.

    Find coronavirus cases near you

    In the table below, you can find out the number of cases per 100,000 in your area, both for the last week and since the start of the pandemic.

    About this data

    This data comes comes from Public Health England, working with devolved authorities in Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

    Differences in data collection and publishing schedules may lead to temporary inconsistencies. 3 and 4 October cases totals include cases from previous days published late owing to a technical fault.

    The government figures for deaths that are used in this tracker incorporate any deaths that have occurred within 28 days of a positive test. This means they are able to quickly capture deaths occurring in hospitals and care homes, both settings where testing is widespread.

    The ONS, along with its counterparts in Scotland and Northern Ireland, captures deaths data differently. They count all deaths where Covid is on the death certificate. About 90% of these deaths are directly due to Covid while it is a contributory factor in the remaining deaths.

    • Due to the unprecedented and ongoing nature of the coronavirus outbreak, this article is being regularly updated to ensure that it reflects the current situation as well as possible. Any significant corrections made to this or previous versions of the article will continue to be footnoted in line with Guardian editorial policy.

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