Coronavirus in the UK: Latest COVID-19 news and case counts

Westminster Palace at sunset, London, England
Westminster Palace at sunset, London, England (Image credit: User: Colin, CC BY-SA 4.0)

Last updated April 29 at 4 p.m. BST

In the United Kingdom the number of confirmed Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases has reached 161,145 since the virus was first detected in the country in Feb. 2020. According to data from geographic information system ArcGIS, there have been 21,678 reported deaths with the virus (April 28) — the main symptoms of which are a fever, tiredness and persistent dry cough. This figure includes deaths in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland

A majority of confirmed cases and related deaths are located in England. Each day across the UK there are 3,996 new cases and 586 deaths (April 28). 

[Live Science is tracking case counts and relevant news from each region of the U.K. Find your region in the list below]

– Prime Minister Boris Johnson was admitted to St. Thomas', a National Health Service hospital, after persistent symptoms of COVID-19. On Thursday (April 9), the BBC reported that the prime minister is conscious and in a "stable condition", but still in an intensive care unit. Johnson tested positive with COVID-19 on March 27 after experiencing mild symptoms. 

– In a daily briefing on April 2, health secretary Matt Hancock announced the government's goal to raise testing for COVID-19 across the country to 100,000 per day by the end of April. This goal will include an increase in swab testing for critical workers and seriously ill patients to 25,000 a day in England by mid to late April, with aligned testing strategies planned across other devolved health authorities.

– On March 23, the UK government announced tighter restrictions on the population's movement, with only essential travel and one piece of exercise per day permitted. This was in addition to restrictions on businesses, with restaurants, pubs and cafes ordered to close. The stay-at-home order remains in place, and according to the government it is under constant review. 

– On Sunday (April 5) Queen Elizabeth gave a rare address to the nation, in which she thanked the efforts of everyone "on the NHS frontline", as well as care workers and other essential roles. This is only the fourth time in her 68-year reign that she has made a special address, and it was watched by over 24 million people, according to the BBC.

Press conference graphic used by Professor Angela McLean, Deputy Chief Scientific Adviser, during a government press conference on April 6, 2020 (Image credit: NHS, Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.)

On March 23, the entire nation was placed into stay-at-home lockdown after a public address from  Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has since written a letter to every household in the UK. "In just a few short weeks, everyday life in this country has changed dramatically," Johnson wrote. "If too many people become seriously unwell at one time, the NHS will be unable to cope. This will cost lives."

The restrictions in place in the UK allow for citizens to leave their homes in only certain circumstances:

- Shopping for basic necessities, as infrequently as possible

- One form of exercise a day - for example a run, walk, or cycle - alone or with members of your household;

- Any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person; and

- Travelling to and from work, but only where this is absolutely necessary and cannot be done from home.

Though these measures from the Westminster government affect all countries within the United Kingdom, devolved governments in Wales and Scotland and the Northern Ireland Executive also maintain a level of control over specific countermeasures and advice given to the public and businesses.


The most populous member of the UK, England has so far recorded the highest number of Coronavirus deaths, with 21,357 identified cases in the capital London. The emergency Nightingale hospital, opened by Prince Charles via video link on April 1, is aiming to support 4,000 patients in London and will required 16,000 staff to keep running, according to Sky News. Other Nightingale facilities are planned in Birmingham, Manchester, Bristol and Harrogate. 

The capital remains the epicenter of the outbreak in the UK, though Birmingham is also experiencing a large number of cases and related deaths. The University Hospitals Birmingham Foundation Trust accounts for 4.7% of all COVID-19 related deaths recorded in England (April 7), according to the Health Service Journal (HSJ).  

Scotland cases by health board

Ayrshire and Arran: 560

Borders: 231

Dumfries and Galloway: 222

Fife: 514

Forth Valley: 451

Grampian: 432

Greater Glasgow and Clyde: 1,905

Highland: 193

Lanarkshire: 995

Lothian: 1,239

Orkney: 5

Shetland: 45

Tayside: 1,022

Eileanan Siar (Western Isles): 6


The Scottish government has delivered similar social distancing and stay-at-home instructions on the population as in the rest of the UK. To support the expected rise in serious cases, a new medical facility called NHS Louisa Jordan has been built in Scotland with capacity for 300 patients, with the option to expand to accommodate more than 1,000 people.

On March 18 Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell announced a £350 million emergency package to support those most affected by the pandemic. So far 25,022 tests have been carried out in Scotland, with 4,229 positive (April 7).

Read more:  Scotland, UK: Latest updates on Coronavirus 


Wales cases by health board and the regions they serve

Blaenau Gwent: 207

Caerphilly: 446

Monmouthshire: 200

Newport: 583

Torfaen: 252

Anglesey: 39

Conwy: 92

Denbighshire: 153

Flintshire: 147

Gwynedd: 119

Wrexham: 129

Cardiff: 1,278

Vale of Glamorgan: 393

Bridgend: 278

Merthyr Tydfil: 159

Rhondda Cynon Taf: 709

Carmarthenshire: 320

Ceredigion: 31

Pembrokeshire: 141

Powys: 118

Neath Port Talbot: 324

Swansea: 698

Unknown location: 61

Residents outside Wales: 59

With a population of 3.38 million, according to the most recent figures from the Office of National Statistics, Wales is the smallest country on the island of Great Britain. Tourism is a large part of the country's economy, and a 2016 report published by the devolved Welsh Government stated that tourism’s "contribution is 6% of all Gross Value Added in the overall Welsh economy".

The pandemic is expected to severely impact the Welsh economy, as social distancing and essential travel rules continue to be enforced. "The single most important action we can all take in fighting coronavirus is to stay at home in order to protect the National Health Service (NHS)," Robin Howe, Incident Director at Public Health Wales said in a statement on April 1.

Read more: Wales, UK: Latest updates on Coronavirus

Northern Ireland cases by local district

Antrim and Newtownabbey: 174

Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon: 269

Belfast: 719

Causeway Coast and Glens: 116

Derry and Strabane: 146

Fermanagh and Omagh: 61

Lisburn and Castlereagh: 241

Mid and East Antrim: 160

Mid Ulster: 119

Newry, Mourne and Down: 140

North Down And Ards: 161

Unknown: 148

Northern Ireland

As the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a border with another country, Northern Ireland faces different challenges in relation to the outbreak. However, the country remains the least affected by COVID-19, according to ArcGIS

On April 7, the Northern Ireland Executive released a Memorandum of Understanding, which describes the collaborative measures being taken between the Department of Health Ireland and the Department of Health Northern Ireland. "Everything possible will be done in co-ordination and cooperation between the Irish Government and the Northern Ireland Executive and with the active involvement of the health administrations in both jurisdictions to tackle the outbreak", ministers from both countries affirmed in the report.

Read More: Northern Ireland, UK: Latest updates on Coronavirus

This page will be updated as more information becomes available.

National Health Service (NHS) COVID-19 hotline: 111

For life-threatening emergencies: 999

Cases by UK member country:

England: 90,629  

Scotland: 8,187    

Wales: 7,270      

N. Ireland: 2,645 

OFFER: Save at least 53% with our latest magazine deal!

OFFER: Save at least 53% with our latest magazine deal!

With impressive cutaway illustrations that show how things function, and mindblowing photography of the world’s most inspiring spectacles, How It Works represents the pinnacle of engaging, factual fun for a mainstream audience keen to keep up with the latest tech and the most impressive phenomena on the planet and beyond. Written and presented in a style that makes even the most complex subjects interesting and easy to understand, How It Works is enjoyed by readers of all ages.

Live Science Staff
For the science geek in everyone, Live Science offers a fascinating window into the natural and technological world, delivering comprehensive and compelling news and analysis on everything from dinosaur discoveries, archaeological finds and amazing animals to health, innovation and wearable technology. We aim to empower and inspire our readers with the tools needed to understand the world and appreciate its everyday awe.