IT HAS been over a year since the first case of coronavirus was detected in the UK.

Within this year the country has seen countless restrictions, three 'lockdown' periods, and sadly over 100,000 deaths from the virus. 

Yet how has the Covid-19 pandemic affected Oxfordshire specifically?

Here we look back at all the key dates since the pandemic has begun.

February 1 2020 – first case of coronavirus enters the UK

At 12.41 am on 1 February 2020, health secretary Matt Hancock and other senior officials were called in the middle of the night to be told that the first case of Covid-19 had been detected in the UK.

February 26

The UK’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) advises the Government that restriction activities outside the household other than school and work would delay the peak of coronavirus by three to five weeks and reduce over cases by up to 60 per cent.

The advice said that school closures are unlikely to contain an outbreak but could reduce the peak of the virus in acted upon early enough.

Oxford Mail:

February 27

Chief medical officer Chris Whitty tells media that sports events, concerts and other mass gatherings may have to be cancelled and schools may need to close for more than two months if they UK has a high number of coronavirus cases.

March 3

SAGE advises against physical greetings like shaking hands and hugging. It reiterates the importance of hand washing.

On this day The Guardian said that Boris Johnson told a press conference: “I was at a hospital the other night where I think there were a few coronavirus patients and I shook hands with everybody, you will be pleased to know, and I continue to shake hands.”

March 15

Downing Street announces it will hold daily press conferences fronted by Boris Johnson or another senior minister.

March 16

Scientists at Imperial College London find NHS critical care capacity will be overwhelmed by the coronavirus outbreak and over 250,000 people will die unless social distancing measures are put in place.

The Prime Minister advises the public to avoid unnecessary contact and travel. He also says to stay way from pubs and theatres – even though they remain open.

March 18 – Schools are closed until further notice

The Government says it will close all schools until further notice.

March 20 – pubs, restaurants and gyms close

The Prime Minister orders pubs and restaurants, as well as gyms, cinemas, nightclubs, and theatres to close.

Chancellor of the Exchequer sets up the coronavirus job protection scheme – the scheme said the Government would cover 80 per cent of those staff not working, up to £2,500 a month.

March 23 – first lockdown is announced

The first UK wide lockdown is announced. The Prime Minister tells the UK public they are only allowed to leave their homes for limited reasons such as food shopping, exercising once per day and medical needs.

All shops selling non-essential goods are told to close. Gatherings of two people in public are banned. Weddings are cancelled – funerals can go ahead.

Oxford Mail: Oxford Mail front cover 24 March 2020Oxford Mail front cover 24 March 2020March 27

Boris Johnson tests positive for coronavirus. Health Secretary Matt Hancock also reveals he has tested positive.

April 2

First clap for carers

April 5 – Prime Minister admitted to hospital with coronavirus

Mr Johnson admitted to London hospital as a ‘precautionary step’.

April 6

Mr Johnson admitted to St Thomas’ intensive care unit. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab deputises for the Prime Minister.

April 17

Sir Captain Tom Moore completes 100 laps of his Bedfordshire garden to raise money for the NHS. The 100-year-old raised over £32 million for the NHS.

Oxford Mail:

April 30

Mr Johnson holds his first Downing Street press conference and says the country is now ‘past the peak of the disease’.

May 10

First easing of lockdown announced – people are allowed to sunbathe in parks and leave for exercise more than once a day.

June 1

Lockdown measures are eased – primary school children in England (years reception, one and six) return to the classroom.

June 5

Health Secretary urges people not to break lockdown rules by attending protests planned following the death of George Floyd.

June 15

England’s retail parks, high streets and shopping centres reopen.

July 3 

A list of 73 countries that English tourists can visit without self-isolating on return is published. These countries included Spain, France and Italy.

July 4  – pubs reopen in England

Pubs reopen! Weddings can take place.

Oxford Mail:

July 13 

Beauty salons, nail bars and tattoo shops reopen.

July 30 

People who test positive for Covid or display symptoms must now self-isolate for 10 days. Mr Hancock warns of a ‘second wave starting to roll across Europe’.

August 3 

Government’s Eat Out To Help Out scheme launched – restaurants, pubs and cafes offering half-price melas to diners in August.

September 18 – the second wave hits the UK

Mr Johnson warns a second wave of coronavirus has now arrived in the UK.

September 19

People who refuse to self-isolate will face fines of up to £10,000.

October 12

The three-tier system of local alert levels introduced for England. Oxford placed in Tier 1 despite Coronavirus cases in the city being higher than some of the areas in the 'high alert' of the government's new three-tiered system.

October 31 – second national lockdown announced

The Prime Minister announces the second national lockdown – the public is told to stay at home for four weeks. Hospitality and non-essential shops must close.

Oxford Mail: An empty Westgate centreAn empty Westgate centre

November 26 – Oxford put in Tier 2, Oxfordshire put in Tier 1

Oxford is to be put into tier 2 when the lockdown ends – the rest of Oxfordshire is to put into Tier 1. This means non-essential shops and restaurants can open.

December 2

England’s national lockdown ends, and is replaced by strengthened three-tier system.

December 17 – Oxford stays in Tier 2

Parts of South East of England move into Tier 3, meaning all non-essential shops, pubs and restaurants need to close. Oxford stays within Tier 2.

December 19

A further tier is created due to spread of new rapid-spreading variant from Kent.

December 26

Oxfordshire enters Tier 4 on Boxing Day.

Jan 4

The UK enters the third national lockdown – England schools will see schools shut to most students and people are urged to stay home once more to prevent the NHS from being overwhelmed.

Oxford Mail: Busy Cornmarket in the third lockdownBusy Cornmarket in the third lockdown

Jan 26

More than 100,000 people have died from coronavirus in the UK.

February 2

Sir Captain Tom Moore dies after testing positive for coronavirus.

February 22 – Boris Johnson to announce roadmap out of lockdown.