Timeline Of Key Events Since UK Was Put Into Lockdown

It marks six months since Prime Minister Boris Johnson put the UK on lockdown and restrictions are tightening again after a rise in Covid-19 cases.

Here are the key dates and events since the unprecedented restrictions were announced on March 23.


March 23: The UK public is told that they will only be allowed to leave their homes for limited reasons, including food shopping, exercise once per day, medical need and travelling for work when absolutely necessary.

All shops selling non-essential goods are told to close, gatherings of more than two people in public are banned, events including weddings – but excluding funerals – are cancelled.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab tells Britons travelling abroad to return home while they still can.


March 24: Health Secretary Matt Hancock reveals a new Nightingale hospital – with a capacity of 4,000 – is being prepared at the ExCeL Centre in London and a scheme is launched to recruit 250,000 volunteers to help the NHS but more than half a million people apply in just two days.


March 25: The Prince of Wales tests positive for coronavirus, but is displaying only “mild symptoms”, Clarence House says.

Sweeping emergency powers to tackle the coronavirus are set to become law after clearing the House of Lords without amendment.


March 26: An 84-year-old man becomes the first inmate to die in prison of Covid-19.

The UK becomes the largest single contributor in the search for a coronavirus vaccine, pledging £210 million in aid funding.

A support package for the self-employed is announced – covering an average of 80% of earnings over the past three years.

The Clap for our Carers campaign begins, kicking off a weekly national applause for frontline workers.


March 27: Mr Johnson and Mr Hancock test positive for Covid-19, while chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty says he has symptoms and is self-isolating.


March 28: UK deaths from coronavirus reach 1,019 – an increase of 260 in 24 hours.

Amged El-Hawrani, a 55-year-old consultant, becomes the first frontline NHS hospital worker to die after testing positive for coronavirus.


April 2: The Prime Minister comes out of self-isolation for a brief appearance at the door of No 11 Downing Street to join the clap for key workers.

Mr Hancock sets a goal of reaching 100,000 tests for coronavirus per day by the end of April.

A million confirmed cases of coronavirus are recorded across the world, according to figures collated by Johns Hopkins University in the US.


April 4: Sir Keir Starmer is elected leader of the Labour Party.


April 5: The Queen tells the nation if we “remain united and resolute” in the face of the coronavirus outbreak, “we will overcome it”.

Downing Street says Mr Johnson has been admitted to hospital for tests as a “precautionary step” as his coronavirus symptoms persisted.


April 6: Downing Street says the Prime Minister’s condition has worsened and he is moved to St Thomas’ Hospital’s intensive care unit.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab deputises for Mr Johnson.

The number of people who have died in hospital after testing positive for coronavirus in the UK rises beyond 5,000.


April 7: Downing Street says the PM’s condition remains “stable” and he is in “good spirits”. He is later moved from intensive care back to the ward.

The first patients are admitted to the NHS Nightingale hospital in London.


April 8: A lack of protective equipment for nurses is “fundamentally compromising” the care they can give patients, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) warns.


April 10: The worldwide death toll linked to coronavirus hits 100,000, according to Johns Hopkins University.


April 11: Home Secretary Priti Patel says she was sorry if anyone felt there had been failings over the supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) for health workers.


April 12: Mr Johnson is discharged from hospital and will continue his recovery at Chequers, Downing Street says.

The hospital death toll of people who have tested positive for coronavirus in the UK passes the 10,000 mark.


April 13: Care sector bosses say daily death tolls are “airbrushing out” hundreds of elderly people who have died at care homes.


April 14: Chancellor Rishi Sunak warns the Government will not be able to protect every UK business and every household during the pandemic, adding: “These are tough times and there will be more to come.”


April 16: Mr Raab, still deputising for the Prime Minister, announces that lockdown measures will be extended for at least three more weeks.


April 18: More than 15,000 are reported to have died in hospital in the UK after testing positive for coronavirus.


April 20: The Duke of Edinburgh makes a rare statement, praising those tackling the pandemic across the UK and keeping essential services running.

The Chancellor reveals that more than 140,000 applied to the Government’s job retention scheme on the morning of its launch.

Downing Street says ministers and officials are working around the clock to ensure frontline NHS staff get the correct PPE, amid mounting frustration over a lack of supplies.


April 22: For the first time in British parliamentary history, MPs contribute to Prime Minister’s Questions via videolink.


April 23: Millions of people become eligible for a coronavirus test under an expansion of the testing programme for essential workers and their households, announced by the Health Secretary.

The first people are injected as part of human trials in the UK for a coronavirus vaccine, lead by Oxford University, while Mr Hancock announces the new NHSX app for contact tracing.


April 27: Mr Johnson is back in Downing Street and “in charge” of the Government’s response to the outbreak.


April 28: Mr Johnson vows that key workers who have lost their lives in the pandemic will not be forgotten, as a national minute’s silence is held in their honour.


April 29: Data included in the Government’s daily updates for the first time shows 26,097 people have died in hospitals, care homes and the wider community in the UK after contracting Covid-19, Public Health England (PHE) says.

Mr Johnson’s fiancee Carrie Symonds gives birth to a boy called Wilfred.


April 30: In his first Downing Street press conference since being hospitalised for Covid-19, Mr Johnson says the country is now “past the peak of this disease”.

Captain Tom Moore celebrates his 100th birthday at home with his family after becoming a national hero by raising more than £32 million for the NHS by walking laps in his garden.


May 1: Mr Hancock says the Government has met its target of hitting 100,000 coronavirus tests in a day by the end of April after conducting 122,347 tests on April 30.


May 3: Transport Secretary Grant Shapps says the contact tracing app will be piloted on the Isle of Wight before being rolled out more widely later in May.


May 4: It is announced the first NHS Nightingale field hospital – at London’s ExCeL centre – will be placed on standby.


May 5: The UK’s declared death toll from coronavirus rises to more than 32,000, passing Italy’s total and becoming the highest in Europe.

Trials of the new coronavirus contact-tracing app begin on the Isle of Wight and Mr Hancock dismisses warnings by civil liberties campai