coronavirus ukcoronavirus uk


  • The UK had reported 319 coronavirus cases and three deaths linked to the virus as of Monday afternoon.
  • The deaths are an older woman with underlying health conditions in Reading, and a man in his 80s in Milton Keynes, and a man in his 60s with “significant” pre-existing health conditions.
  • The UK markets are taking a battering as the COVID-19 virus continues to spread across the nation.
  • The UK’s chief scientific adviser said that coronavirus outbreaks may become an annual event and that a vaccine is unlikely to be created this year.
  • Johnson’s government expects to virus to “spread in a significant way” in the coming days and weeks.
  • Officials are considering plans to order the public to work at home for at least three months.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The UK has reported a total of 319 coronavirus cases and three deaths linked to the virus.

A man in his 60s with “significant” pre-existing health conditions died at North Manchester General Hospital on Sunday.

He was the third person to die in Britain as a result of the virus. An older woman with underlying health conditions died at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading on Thursday. A man in his 80s died at a hospital in Milton Keynes on Friday.

Boris Johnson’s government expects the virus to “spread in a significant way” in the coming days and weeks, his spokesperson said on Monday afternoon.

The coronavirus causes a respiratory disease known as COVID-19. More than 3,600 people have died and more than 106,000 others have been infected, mostly in China. Cases have been recorded in at least 105 countries.

The UK has seen a rising number of cases of “community spread”: people with no known exposure to others with the virus or travel history to countries where outbreaks have been reported.

For the latest global case total, death toll, and travel information, see Business Insider’s live updates here.

Kieran Corcoran and Alison Millington contributed reporting to this post.

UK government prepares for coronavirus to ‘spread in a significant way’

Boris Johnson

Frank Augstei n- WPA Pool/Getty Images

Boris Johnson’s government remains focused on containing coronavirus but expects it to “spread in a significant way” in the coming days and weeks.

“We remain in the contain phase, but it is now accepted that this virus is going to spread in a significant way and that’s why officials have been working at speed on further steps we can take to delay the spread of the virus,” the prime minister’s spokesperson said moments ago.

Johnson was still chairing a COBRA meeting with senior ministers and health officials when his spokesperson briefed the UK press at Monday lunchtime.

The prime minister’s spokesperson also said:

– Brits returning from quarantined areas of northern Italy are urged to self-isolate for two weeks — even if they do not have coronavirus symptoms.

Johnson’s spokesperson said: “For those returning from Italy, Public Health England have advised that anyone returning from locked-down areas should self-isolate for 14 days regardless of whether they show symptoms.

“People returning from the rest of Italy should isolate if they are showing symptoms.”

– There are still no plans to close the Houses of Parliament. 

“The prime minister set out last week that he didn’t believe there was any reason why parliament should close and as much as possible, based on medical advice, it should carry on as normal,” they said.

“I would expect [the parliamentary authorities] to be guided by scientific advice.”

There were reports last week that Westminster could be closed for five months amid fears that MPs and Lords could be “super-spreaders” of the COVID-19 virus.

The UK economy is plummeting amid coronavirus fears

Rishi Sunak

Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Prime Minister Boris Johnson.


Britain’s markets are taking a battering as coronavirus continues to grip the country.

London’s FTSE Index fell by almost 9% when trading opened on Monday morning, putting it on course for its biggest fall in a single day since the Lehman Brothers crash in 2008.

UK Chancellor Ruski Sunak is set to announce measures for dealing with the financial impact of the COVID-19 virus when he delivers the government’s budget on Wednesday.

European Commission President Von Der Leyen on Monday morning said that the virus had inflicted huge damage on the whole European economy.

“The spread of the virus has a vast impact on people’s lives but it also has a vast impact on our economy,” she said.

“We are looking into everything that we can do to help to address the impacts on the economy.”

Transport for London staff member tests positive for coronavirus

london tube

Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Transport for London — the organisation responsible for operating London’s public transport — says that a member of staff has tested positive for coronavirus.

A TfL spokesperson on Monday said that “a deep clean has taken place within the building used by the staff member.”

The staff member reportedly works at one of TfL’s above-ground offices and not on the Underground.

Boris Johnson to chair emergency COBRA meeting as the UK moves to delay Coronavirus epidemic

Boris Johnson coronavirus uk


Boris Johnson will on Monday morning chair an emergency meeting of the UK government’s COBRA committee.

The UK Prime Minister will meet with senior ministers and the government’s health and scientific advisers.

“The number of coronavirus cases continues to rise in the UK and around the world,” Johnson will tell the meeting.

“We are well prepared and will continue to make decisions to protect the public based on the latest scientific advice.

“Tackling Coronavirus will require a national and international effort. I am confident the British people are ready to play their part in that.

“The most valuable thing people can do is wash their hands with soap and water for twenty seconds.”

The meeting comes as the government prepares to officially move the UK towards the “delay” phase of its four-point action plan for tackling the coronavirus. 

The delay phase will likely involve advice to limit human contact and unnecessary travel, with many workers advised to work from home where possible.

A man in his 60s is the third Brit to die after testing positive for coronavirus

Coronavirus NHS doctors nurses

Jane Barlow-Pool/Getty Images

A man in his 60s with “significant” underlying health conditions has died after testing positive for coronavirus, NHS England announced on Sunday.

Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty said: “I am very sorry to report that a third patient in England who tested positive for Covid-19 has sadly died.

“I offer my sincere condolences to their family and friends and ask that their privacy is respected.”

The man died at North Manchester General Hospital.

5 new cases were reported in Scotland on Saturday afternoon.


Street scene in Glasgow

Ralf Roletschek/Wikimedia Commons

According to the BBC, the five extra cases were confirmed by the Scottish government.

Two are in Lanarkshire, the area south of Glasgow.

One is in the greater Glasgow area, another in the Lothian area near Edinburgh, and the fifth further north in the Grampian region.

It brings Scotland’s total number of cases to 16.

The second UK coronavirus death was confirmed as a man in his 80s.

coronavirus uk


A man in his 80s died at Milton Keynes hospital, England, on Friday, after contracting the coronavirus.

The hospital confirmed that he had tested positive for the virus and died shortly afterwards.

It follows the death of a woman on Thursday, who also died from COVID-19. The woman, who had underlying health conditions and was in her 70s, died in the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading, England.

The latest count is a huge jump from the 164 confirmed UK coronavirus cases that were reported Saturday morning.

Coronavirus Britain hospital

Finnbarr Webster/Getty Images

The Department of Health’s update on Friday afternoon came amid reports of the second death in the UK linked to the virus.

Johnson announced a £46 million package for accelerating efforts to find a coronavirus vaccine.

Boris Johnson

Frank Augstei n- WPA Pool/Getty Images

“Keeping the British people safe is my number one priority, and that’s why I’ve set out our four-part plan to contain, delay, mitigate and research coronavirus,” Johnson said in a statement on Friday.

“We are ensuring the country is prepared for the current outbreak, guided by the science at every stage. But we also need to invest now in researching the vaccines that could help prevent future outbreaks.

“I’m very proud that UK experts — backed by government funding — are on the front line of global efforts to do just that.”

UK airlines are running empty flights out of Europe.

Planes coronavirus


Airlines operating out of Europe have run “ghost” flights, without any passengers on board, during the coronavirus outbreak to get around rules that could see them lose their flight slots.

UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has written to regulators asking for a suspension of the rules amid an increasingly gloomy outlook for the industry.

The UK airline Flybe collapsed earlier this week, though it said its financial problems existed long before the outbreak.

There is little chance of a coronavirus vaccine appearing this year.

coronavirus uk


The UK’s chief scientific adviser, Patrick Vallance, told BBC Radio 4’s “Today” program on Friday that this coronavirus outbreak could become an annual outbreak.

Vallance also said it’s unlikely a vaccine will be created in time to contain this year’s outbreak.

“I don’t think we’ll get something in time and at scale for this outbreak,” he said. “That said, there have been remarkable changes in the ability to make vaccines and discover vaccines just in the last few years. And so things have progressed much more quickly than they would have done in the past, and it’s not unreasonable to assume that we will end up with a vaccine and we may do so in a year, 18 months.”

—BBC Radio 4 Today (@BBCr4today) March 6, 2020

British people with flu-like symptoms could be told to stay at home.

Boris Johnson


UK citizens with flu-like symptoms could be told to stay at home even if they haven’t traveled to countries heavily affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

Real Life. Real News. Real Voices

Help us tell more of the stories that matter

Become a founding member

Other measures, including plans to reduce big gatherings, are also being considered.

“You’ve got a range of things that you can do to arrest or check the spread of a disease,” Johnson said this week. “But you can’t fire your shots too early.”

Funerals could be livestreamed if the outbreak escalates.

British church

Danny Martindale/Getty Images

Funerals could be affected by any ban on large public gatherings.

The National Association of Funeral Directors told Sky News on Thursday that it had spoken with Johnson’s government about the steps it could take if the outbreak becomes an epidemic in the UK.

One option would be to livestream funerals, the group said.

“As well as supporting the government and local authorities in managing the impact of the additional deaths, funeral directors would be focused on helping families who lose a loved one during that time in finding meaningful ways to say goodbye — even if the funeral they would have preferred isn’t possible,” the group told Sky News.

“One option might include the webcasting of funeral services, as many crematoria now have these facilities — or holding a separate memorial service at a later date.”

On Thursday, the number of cases in the UK was at 116.

coronavirus uk .JPG


The UK government on Thursday afternoon said the number of cases had risen to 116 from 87 on Wednesday.

Of the cases, 100 were in England, with 25 reported in the capital, London. Eight of the new cases were not people who recently traveled.

Whitty said it was “highly likely” that the virus is being spread in the UK by people who haven’t traveled.

He added that it was inevitable that the number of cases in the UK will rise and that it will almost certainly not be possible to prevent an outbreak.