Coronavirus in the UK ⦁ 英國新冠肺炎疫情
Updated: 24 November 2020
The UK has had one of the worst COVID-19 outbreaks in Europe, and the number of deaths here has been high.
We had a full lockdown for around 7 weeks, starting on 23 March 2020, which brought down the number of new infections and deaths. The virus started rising steeply again afterwards and in November England had a 1-month lockdown again.
Visit this site to find out the latest data released by the UK government, updated daily. You also can research an individual area by post code at the bottom of this page to find regularly updated numbers of cases and deaths.
COVID-19 testing and treatment ⦁ 喺英國接受測試及治療
✅ Anyone in the UK with symptoms of COVID-19 or who has been asked to get tested can get one free. If you have symptoms you must stay at home until you get the result. There are no conditions related to immigration status. Ask for a test online here.
✅ You can also have a private test. For example, you can order a PCR test offered by Medicspot via Ying Goi Dim at a discount.
⚠️ If you test positive you are required to isolate for 14 days. There are fines of up to £1000 for violating this or even £10,000 for very bad breaches of the rules.
✅ If you were to need medical care for COVID-19, it would be provided by the NHS regardless of immigration status for free.
Arriving in the UK ⦁ 到埗英國要做乜
At present, you do not need to self-isolate when you arrive in England from Hong Kong. Before arriving England, make sure you check that Hong Kong is still on the no self-isolation list as the situation is constantly changing.
If your journey involves a transit stop in a country not on the list, you do not need to self-isolate when you arrive in the UK as long as no new passengers get on.
You need to complete a passenger locator form online before your arrival AND show it on your phone or a printed copy when you arrive. This records things like your passport number and travel itinerary as well as the address where you will stay for the 14 days after you arrive. You can complete the form up to 48 hours before you arrive.
Still in partial lockdown ⦁ 有限度封鎖
England will return to a 3-tier system after December 2. The rules are revised frequently so keep yourself informed about any local lockdowns. Rules also vary somewhat between the nations of the UK – England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.
In general people are asked to stay at least 1 metre apart, or 2 metres if possible.
‘Rule of 6’
In mid-September the government brought in a general rule called the ‘Rule of 6’:
Up to 6 people from up to 6 households can socialise indoors or outdoors. Children are included in England, but not in Scotland or Wales. Exceptions are education and work settings. Police can enforce the rule with a fine of £100, which doubles for every repeated breach.
Masks ⦁ 英國人少戴口罩
Mask wearing is a relatively new concept to British people and the government has been slow to set any clear policy, so be ready to accept the fact that not many people wear masks here.
In England, you must by law wear a face covering on public transport, and in shops and supermarkets. The rules are different in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. The government “strongly encourages” people to “wear face coverings in other enclosed public spaces where there are people they do not normally meet.”
Surgical masks are not widely available in pharmacies as they are in HK, so buying online is the way to go. However, reusable masks can be bought in most places these days.
UK vs HK ⦁ 香港英國之別
When comparing the impact COVID-19 has had on the UK and HK, we must bear in mind that the UK is far bigger, and most of it is far less densely populated.
There are fewer high rise buildings in the UK, meaning the chances of being in a closed environment (such as a lift) with other people are much lower in the UK than in Hong Kong.
In the UK, outside of city centres, it is possible to walk around without coming too close to anyone.
Image: Andy Holmes on Unsplash