4,373,343 Cases in United Kingdom 


3,981,812 Recovered
406 Critical
127,100 Deaths

Country Cases New Cases Deaths New Deaths Critical Recovered
United Kingdom 4373343 3568 127100 13 406 3981812
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COVID-19 Projections for United Kingdom

Introduction | Videos | Analysis | Evaluation | Policies | Disclaimer | Contact


In this section, we give a short summary about our projections for United Kingdom.

NOTE: We have updated again our projection. New first projection day for U.K. is September 25, 2020.

If there will be any more updates, we will inform you on this page. You can view projections of other countries here.


These videos are an animation of confirmed cases and deaths with embedded the measures taken from country authorities. We believe that with these timelapses it is more easy to understand the magnitude and the speed of spreading of COVID-19. These videos will not be updated daily, but whenever is necessary. To see the projections scroll up to the top of this page.


Our analysis for COVID-19 progression in United Kingdom is based on multiple parameters. Some of them are the Mobility and Activity Index (MAI), number of daily tests, positivity rate. These parameters are presented in the figures below.

Τhe Mobility and Activity Index (MAI) is based on the data provided from Google COVID-19 Community Mobility Reports. In this dataset Google provides mobility trends for Grocery & pharmacy(grocery markets, food warehouses, farmers markets, specialty food shops, drug stores, and pharmacies), Parks (local parks, national parks, public beaches, marinas, dog parks, plazas, and public gardens), Transit stations (public transport hubs such as subway, bus, and train stations), Retail & recreation (restaurants, cafes, shopping centers, theme parks, museums, libraries, and movie theaters), Residential (places of residence) and Workplaces (places of work).

Τhe Mobility and Activity Index (MAI) is created by applying Principal Component Analysis (PCA) in 5 out of 6 trends, we left out Parks as they highly collerated with seasonality. By definition the Mobility and Activity Index (MAI) is a weighted sum function of the mobility trends and shows the mobility and economic activity of each country.

For United Kingdom the first principal component (PC1) of PCA can explain 93.13% of the total variance.

Mobility and Activity Index (MAI) = 0.36*T(Retail & Recreation) + 0.14*T(Grocery & Pharmacy) + 0.32*T(Transit) + 0.3*T(Workplaces) - 0.11*T(Residential)

NOTE: announcement from Google: "2020-09-22 20:45 GMT‎ We have temporarily suspended updates in some categories to prepare for an improvement to how we’ll compute retail, recreation and other categories. The upcoming update will ensure consistency in the way that the data is being reported. We are working to resume updates as soon as possible."

mobility and activity index

The baseline is calculated by Google as the median value, for the corresponding day of the week, during the 5-week period Jan 3–Feb 6, 2020. After lockdown of March in UK we see a dramatic drop of the MAI at a level of -78.5%. In May some measures were lifted and the MAI started to increase with a linear trend. During June and July the trend continued and by the end of July UK gained around 40% percent of the economic activity. In summary, Mobility and Activity Index for UK gained 46.1% from the support level and has a 32.4% percent to achieve pre-coronavirus levels.

Another figure that can explain qualitative the COVID-19 curves by its quantity over time is the daily tests performed. Data for testing are available from Our World in Data via Github here.

number of test

As it can be observed the number of tests for UK did not followed the decrease of cases. In September testing capacity is around at a level of 226,578 daily tests.

We combined the data of daily tests with the daily confirmed cases to produce a figure of positivity rate. This rate is a good indicator about our control over the COVID-19 pandemic. A positivity rate under 1% is considered safe zone, a positivity rate above 20% is considered hot zone. WHO threshold for re-opening is 5% for 14 consecutive days.

positivity rate

We observe that from May and on the positivity rate drop nearly to zero levels. This was a good indicator that test were enough and the prevalence of the coronavirus slow. In September we see a steady increase of positivity rate in UK. Now is around 2.4%. This indicates that COVID-19 in UK is under control for now, but if we see a sharp increase in this indicator reaching a level of 5% then new measures must be imposed and the capacity of testing must be increased.

The aforementioned information were derived from the data and from this point on we analyze our assumptions, choices and conclusions based on our simulation model. The results of which are diplayed as projections in the first figures of this webpage.

The basic assumption is that the reported data are not showing the reality of COVID-19 spread. This is based on the fact that there is no efficient testing on the whole population. For our analysis, only daily deaths can give a good estimation of the disease progression. This is the reason why we do not calibrate the model to the data, as we want the model to capture what happens in reality, without overfitting.

The initial population of United Kingdom that has been incorporated into the model is 67,886,004.

The first case reported on 31/01/2020 and the first death reported on 06/03/2020.

With this in mind, we assume that around 300 exposed persons entered United Kingdom between 25/01/2020 and 09/02/2020.

In our projection model season has an effect of 30%.

The reaction time of people to the measures is 6 days, on average.

The confirmed cases now are around 65% of the real number.

We estimate that until 24/09/2020 a 3.73% percent of the total population of United Kingdom has been infected and 3.55% percent of the total population of United Kingdom has been recovered.

Overall, the situation in UK is not under control, after the loosening of measures and opening schools it has become very fragile. Our projection shows a scenario where the measures that imposed in September made people to follow the rules for personal protection measures at a level of 65%, from 60% that was in summer. If no other measures are taken then a general lockdown at around 9th of November will bring this number to 85%.

More details about the model can be found here.

Please visit the official website of U.K. government for official information.

Evaluation of the projections models

We use as evaluation metrics the mean absolute percentage error (MAPE) and median absolute percentage error (MdAPE) on the cumulative cases and deaths, respectively. We made this decision in order to allow comparability of our models with other forecasting models for COVID-19. See details of performance of other prediction models here.

The overall performance of our projections is obtained by a weighting average of the metrics of each model. As weights the normalized to one number of days is used.

The partial and overall Absolute Percentage Errors (APEs) of our projections of COVID-19 for United Kingdom with the confirmed cumulative cases it shown in the next table. Lower value is better performance. Retrospective change in data affect the metric, the real error for affected models is lower.

Confirmed cases where revised to follow the official numbers. As the official announcement denotes: "The methodology for reporting positive cases changed on 2 July 2020 to remove duplicates within and across pillars 1 and 2, to ensure that a person who tests positive is only counted once. Due to this change, 30,302 previously reported cases were removed from the UK total. Numbers of lab-confirmed positive cases throughout this website (national, regional and local authority level) now include those identified by testing in all settings (pillars 1 and 2). Due to this change many cases previously not attributed to any area are now included in area totals. This is not a recent surge in cases – the cases now being reported occurred from April onwards." (source)

United Kingdom - cumulative cases models evaluation
ModelStart DateEnd DateDaysMAPEMdAPE

The partial and overall Absolute Percentage Errors (APEs) of our projections of COVID-19 for United Kingdom with the confirmed cumulative deaths it shown in the next table. Lower value is better performance.Retrospective change in data affect the metric, the real error for affected models is lower.

Death data are revised with the 28 days cutoff. "The 4 UK Chief Medical Officers have recommended that a single, consistent measure is adopted for daily reporting of deaths across the UK. The UK government and the devolved administrations have agreed to publish the number of deaths that occurred within 28 days of a positive lab-confirmed COVID test result on a daily basis."(source)

United Kingdom - cumulative deaths models evaluation
ModelStart DateEnd DateDaysMAPEMdAPE


The measures taken by U.K. authorities by date (Day/Month/Year) are:

United Kingdom - Containment and closure policies
School closing18/03/20203 - require closing all levels0 - targeted
School closing23/03/20203 - require closing all levels1 - general
School closing01/06/20203 - require closing all levels0 - targeted
School closing13/08/20202 - require closing some levels 0 - targeted
School closing01/09/20201 - recommend closing1 - general
Workplace closing16/03/20201 - recommend closing or work from home1 - general
Workplace closing21/03/20203 - require closing or work from home for all-but-essential workplaces1 - general
Workplace closing11/05/20203 - require closing or work from home for all-but-essential workplaces0 - targeted
Workplace closing29/05/20202 - require closing or work from home for some sectors1 - general
Cancel public events19/03/20201 - recommend cancelling1 - general
Cancel public events20/03/20201 - recommend cancelling1 - general
Restrictions on gatherings23/03/20204 - restrictions on gatherings of 10 people or less0 - targeted
Restrictions on gatherings24/03/20204 - restrictions on gatherings of 10 people or less1 - general
Restrictions on gatherings04/07/20204 - restrictions on gatherings of 10 people or less0 - targeted
Restrictions on gatherings18/09/20204 - restrictions on gatherings of 10 people or less1 - general
Close public transport20/03/20201 - recommend closing or significantly reduce volume/route/means of transport available1 - general
Stay at home requirements13/03/20201 - recommend not leaving house0 - targeted
Stay at home requirements22/03/20202 - require not leaving house with exceptions0 - targeted
Stay at home requirements23/03/20202 - require not leaving house with exceptions1 - general
Stay at home requirements13/05/20201 - recommend not leaving house1 - general
Stay at home requirements15/06/20201 - recommend not leaving house0 - targeted
Stay at home requirements01/08/20200 - no measures0 - targeted
Restrictions on internal movement22/03/20202 - internal movement restrictions in place0 - targeted
Restrictions on internal movement23/03/20202 - internal movement restrictions in place1 - general
Restrictions on internal movement13/05/20202 - internal movement restrictions in place0 - targeted
Restrictions on internal movement06/07/20201 - recommend not to travel between regions/cities0 - targeted
Restrictions on internal movement01/08/20202 - internal movement restrictions in place0 - targeted
International travel controls08/06/20202 - quarantine arrivals from some or all regions1 - general

United Kingdom - Health system policies
Public information campaigns20/01/20201 - public officials urging caution about COVID-191 - general
Public information campaigns31/01/20202 - coordinated public information campaign0 - targeted
Public information campaigns01/02/20202 - coordinated public information campaign0 - targeted
Testing policy20/01/20201 - only those who both (a) have symptoms AND (b) meet specific criteria1 - general
Testing policy18/05/20202 - testing of anyone showing COVID-19 symptoms1 - general
Contact tracing31/01/20202 - comprehensive contact tracing; done for all identified cases1 - general
Contact tracing12/03/20200 - no contact tracing1 - general
Contact tracing27/05/20201 - limited contact tracing; not done for all cases1 - general
Contact tracing01/06/20202 - comprehensive contact tracing; done for all identified cases1 - general

United Kingdom - Economic policies
Income support20/03/20202 - government is replacing 50% or more of lost salary0 - formal sector workers only
Income support26/03/20202 - government is replacing 50% or more of lost salary1 - transfers to informal sector workers too
Debt/contract relief18/03/20201 - narrow relief, specific to one kind of contract1 - general

Level is in ordinal scale and higher value means more strict measures. Detailed explanation about the table can be found here.


This analysis contains Work in Progress (WIP) results. No rights can be derived from any of the results.

The projection that is visualized is only one simulation run and is not forecast neither future prediction.

We are not directly or indirectly owned or managed by any governmental organization, public charity, non-profit, or private foundation. Covid-Analysis is not affiliated, associated with, or in any way has any official status with the United Nations or any other official organization.

The project is self-funded. Your contribution is important for the operating expenses of this site and for coffee, our basic fuel. Every donation will help us continue this effort.


If you find this analysis useful please do not hesitate to contact us at: info@covid-analysis.com