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

Department Of Health

May 29
19:40 2020

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Number of cases and deaths

As of 9am on 29 May, there have been 4,043,686 tests, with 131,458 tests on 28 May.

271,222 people have tested positive.

As of 5pm on 28 May, of those tested positive for coronavirus in the UK, 38,161 have died. This new figure includes deaths in all settings, not just in hospitals. The equivalent figure under the old measure would have been 30,564.

Tests People tested Positive Deaths in hospitals Deaths in all settings
Daily 131,458 Unavailable 2,095 173 324
Total 4,043,686 Unavailable 271,222 30,564 38,161

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 27,719 Unavailable - Unavailable
Tests 37,933 88,691 4,834 131,458
Positive 718 1,377 - 2,095


Pillar 1 Pillar 2 Pillar 4 Total
People tested 1,171,597 Unavailable - Unavailable
Tests 1,605,581 2,181,966 256,139 4,043,686
Positive 185,832 85,390 - 271,222

Pillar 2 breakdown of test types

In-person (tests processed) Delivery (tests sent out) Total tests
Daily 36,393 52,298 88,691
Cumulative 1,082,030 1,099,936 2,181,966

29 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 daily number of tests is 5,851 higher than the difference between todays and yesterdays cumulative totals. This is due to historic revisions to pillar 1 and 2 data.

From 1 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 27 May

As of 9am on 27 May, testing capacity was 161,214.

Pillar 1 Pillar 2 Pillar 4 Total
Lab capacity 54,164 106,000 1,050 161,214

See the governments 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: 29 May 2020 (CSV, 42.1KB)

See a time series of capacity statistics: 27 May 2020 (CSV, 7.37KB). 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: 29 May 2020 (CSV, 3.49KB)

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

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