Last updated 19 January 2021
This spotlight brings together the latest information we have about the COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak. The information will be updated accordingly as and when the UK government makes updates. We share government updates for England and for Wales.

What is Coronavirus?

COVID-19 is a new strain of coronavirus first identified in Wuhan City, China in December 2019. Typical symptoms of COVID-19 include fever and a cough that may progress to severe pneumonia, causing shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. On 18 May, the loss or a change in your normal sense of smell or taste were added to the list of official symptoms.

This is a new strain of illness, and was transmitted to humans from animals. On 5 March 2020 COVID-19 was added to the list of notifiable diseases, and SARS-COV-2 to the list of notifiable causative agents. This change in law requires all cases of COVID-19 to be reported to Public Health authorities.