Number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases and risk in the UK

The latest number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases and risk level in the UK.

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Number of cases and deaths

As of 9am 31 May, there have been 4,285,738 tests, with 115,725 tests on 30 May.

274,762 people have tested positive.

As of 5pm on 30 May, of those tested positive for coronavirus in the UK, 38,489 have sadly died. This new figure includes deaths in all settings not just in hospitals. The equivalent figure under the old measure would have been 30,861.

Tests People tested Positive Deaths in hospitals Deaths in all settings
Daily 115,725 Unavailable 1,936 119 113
Total 4,285,738 Unavailable 274,762 30,861 38,489

Breakdown of testing by 3 of the testing strategy ‘pillars’

  • Pillar 1: swab testing in PHE labs and NHS hospitals for those with a clinical need, and health and care workers
  • Pillar 2: swab testing for the wider population aged 5 and over, as set out in government guidance
  • Pillar 3: serology testing to show if people have antibodies from having had COVID-19
  • Pillar 4: serology and swab testing for national surveillance supported by PHE, ONS, Biobank, universities and other partners to learn more about the prevalence and spread of the virus and for other testing research purposes, for example on the accuracy and ease of use of home testing


Pillar 1 Pillar 2 Pillar 4 Total
People tested 19,590 Unavailable - Unavailable
Tests 31,755 80,796 3,174 115,725
Positive 427 1,509 - 1,936


Pillar 1 Pillar 2 Pillar 4 Total
People tested 1,212,006 Unavailable - Unavailable
Tests 1,674,424 2,346,781 264,533 4,285,738
Positive 186,287 88,475 - 274,762

Pillar 2 breakdown of test types

In-person (tests processed) Delivery (tests sent out) Total tests
Daily 38,657 42,139 80,796
Cumulative 1,156,641 1,190,140 2,346,781

31 May notes

Reporting on the number of people tested has been temporarily paused to ensure consistent reporting across all pillars. This is due to a small percentage of cases where the same person has had more than one test or tested positive more than once for COVID-19 in Pillar 2. Corrections will be made to any figures if they have subsequently been found to have an error.

The number of tests is 1,395 higher than the difference between today and yesterday’s cumulative totals. This is due to revisions to historical data in Pillar 1 (adding 3 tests) and Pillar 2 (removing 1,398 tests) due to further information being made available to support data processing.

The number of in-person tests is 5,005 higher and delivery 3,607 lower than the difference between today and yesterday’s cumulative totals. This is due to revisions to historical data in Pillar 2 due to further information being made available to support data processing.

The daily count for deaths in all settings is 6 lower than the daily count for deaths in hospital. This is because the hospital-only count will include some deaths that have already been included in the composite all-settings count on a previous day.

From 1st June we will stop publishing a separate count of deaths in hospital as our daily count now provides a count of deaths in all settings. NHS England continue to publish deaths in hospital, for England, on their website.

Testing capacity as of 30 May

As of 9am on 30 May, testing capacity was 205,634.

Pillar 1 Pillar 2 Pillar 3 Pillar 4 Total
Lab capacity 53,634 111,000 40,000 1,000 205,634

See the government’s national testing strategy for more information on the different pillars and ‘Notes on testing figures’ section below.

Time series

See a time series of testing statistics: 31 May 2020 (CSV, 43.4KB)

See a time series of capacity statistics: 31 May 2020 (CSV, 7.96KB). This will be updated weekly from 31 May.

The testing and capacity time series include data from 21 March onwards.

The early parts of these series include some historical data revisions and series backdating as administrative systems were being developed at the time. This means that individual figures will not necessarily align with what was published at the time in the daily tweet or on GOV.UK.

Different pillars started testing at different stages, and therefore a full time series of testing capacity is not available across all pillars and Nations.

Wales submit testing data for pillars 1 and 2 and these are all reported under pillar 1. Therefore, Wales data is not reported under pillar 2 to avoid double counting.

See a time series of daily deaths: 31 May 2020 (CSV, 3.57KB)

Correspondence with the Statistics Regulator about testing data

The Chair of the Office for Statistics Regulation wrote to us about presentation of statistics about testing.

Read the letter from the regulator.

Read our response, published on 27 May.

General notes

Data on UK tests, positive cases and deaths is updated on this page daily at 2pm or shortly after. The figures for test results and for deaths are compiled from different sources. This is why the figures for deaths are reported from an earlier point in time than the figures for test results.

Daily totals reflect actual counts reported for the previous day. Each day there may be corrections to previous reported figures. This means that previously published daily counts will not necessarily sum to the latest cumulative figure. It also means that today’s cumulative count may not match the previous day’s cumulative count plus today’s daily count.

Notes on testing figures

Tests in the UK are carried out via a number of different routes. Tests are measured and reported in different ways depending on the route and how they’re administered.

The tests that are within the control of the central programme are counted when they’re processed in our laboratories. For any tests that go outside the control of the central programme, they’re counted when they leave the programme, for example the tests that are mailed out to people at home and the tests that are sent out via satellite sites.

The length of time it takes tests to be concluded varies depending on the testing route and the different processes involved. This means tests carried out on a particular day will not always be measured and reported at the same time.

The daily figures on the number of tests include:

Tests processed through our laboratories

These are counted at the time of processing in the laboratory and not when they are issued to people. Tests are never double-counted. This includes:

  • all tests under pillar 1
  • ‘in-person’ testing routes under pillar 2, for example tests carried out at the mobile testing units and the drive-through regional testing sites
  • ‘in-person’ testing routes under pillar 4, for example tests carried out as part of surveillance testing where they are administered by nurses employed by the central programme

Tests sent to individual at home or to satellite testing locations

These are counted when tests are dispatched and not at the time of processing in the laboratory. Tests are never double-counted. This includes:

  • ‘delivery’ testing routes under pillar 2, for example tests carried out by the satellite testing centres, and home testing kits delivered by post
  • ‘delivery’ testing routes under pillar 4, for example tests carried out as part of surveillance testing where they are administered by individuals, rather than nurses employed by the central programme.

For clinical reasons, some people are tested more than once. Therefore the number of tests completed may be higher than the number of people tested. For serology testing (pillar 4), some protocols allow for samples to be tested repeatedly. Samples are anonymised prior to sending to the lab for testing, therefore the identification of individuals tested is not possible in the current reporting process, and so the number of people tested is not reported.

Testing capacity

Coronavirus tests are processed in several separate labs. Projected lab capacity is an estimate of each lab’s constrained capacity each day based on the staff, chemical reagents and other resources it has available. These estimates are made locally by the labs themselves.

The labs provide their testing capacity estimates to the individual pillars daily, and this is collated centrally. For each pillar, capacity relates to the following labs:

  • pillar 1 capacity – projected lab capacity for NHS, PHE and Roche labs for England and lab capacity from devolved administrations
  • pillar 2 capacity – projected lab capacity in the pillar 2 network, including labs in Northern Ireland, Glasgow, Manchester, Milton Keynes and Cambridge
  • pillar 3 capacity – projected current capacity to process serology tests to show if people have antibodies from having had COVID-19
  • pillar 4 capacity – projected lab capacity for the Biobank lab, Imperial lab capacity to process Ipsos MORI Lateral Flow Antibody Tests and Eurofin lab capacity for Ipsos MORI swab tests. Swab tests from the ONS COVID-19 Infection Survey are processed by Pillar 2 labs

These definitions cover the capacity to process the tests outlined under ‘Tests processed through our laboratories’ and those ‘delivery’ testing routes under pillars 2 and 4 that are processed through the labs. They do not cover the count of tests despatched via ‘delivery’ testing routes under pillars 2 and 4.

Given the time lag and return rates for home and satellite tests, on occasion more tests are despatched than lab capacity on a given day. This could mean that the capacity number is slightly lower than total number of tests.

Due to the nature of the pillar 4 national surveillance studies, capacity will fluctuate over time.

Notes on deaths figures

From 29 April, figures for deaths include all cases where there is a positive confirmed test for coronavirus. The figures include deaths with lab-confirmed COVID-19 in all settings, not just those in hospital, and this provides us with a single figure on an equivalent basis for the whole of the UK.

These UK figures are compiled from validated data provided by each of the four nations of the UK. Figures from Health Protection Scotland, Public Health Wales and the Public Health Agency (Northern Ireland) have always included tested cases outside hospital. Figures for England from 29 April onwards are provided by Public Health England and draw together several different data sources, including data from NHS England and Improvement, to produce this broader measure.

This approach allows us to compile deaths data on a daily basis using up-to-date figures across all settings. The data includes deaths with lab-confirmed COVID-19 reported as at 5pm the previous day. The amount of time between occurrence of death and reporting in these figures may vary slightly and in some cases could be a few days, so figures at 5pm may not include all deaths for that day.

The PHE method draws on data from 3 data sources and individual records of deaths are included in the figures as soon as they are available in any of these 3 sources.

In rare instances, the daily count under the new measure may be lower than the old measure because some hospital deaths in the hospital-only data will include individuals who have already been included in the composite count. Individual deaths have already been reported in the PHE series on previous days.

In addition to these figures, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) publishes weekly counts of deaths in which COVID-19 was mentioned on the death certificate. This publication is issued every Tuesday, starting on 31 March 2020. The ONS series includes cases in all settings, and also includes some cases where COVID-19 is suspected but no test has taken place. ONS detailed data covers England and Wales only, but from 28 April their publication includes a headline summary of registered deaths in the whole of the UK. Their report each Tuesday covers deaths registered up to 11 days before publication.

Material published by PHE

PHE updates a daily dashboard to show trends in UK data on positive tests and deaths and to provide confirmed cases in each local authority and NHS region in England.

Risk level

The risk to the UK is high

Published 24 January 2020
Last updated 31 May 2020 + show all updates
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