As of May 2022, the number of COVID-19 cases in the UK exceeded 22 million, and the pandemic has taken the lives of over 179,000 people. The coronavirus disease spread like wildfire in the UK in March 2020, and it became a significant challenge for the UK authorities to prevent the spread. Consequently, the UK government enforced a lockdown on March 23, 2020, to manage the public health crisis. The first case of COVID-19 in the UK was identified on March 28, 2020, in a UK woman who returned from China on March 23, 2020. As of May 2022, the UK experienced five waves of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The pandemic also started taking a toll on the economy of the UK. The pandemic had drastic social and economic implications. The UK’s GDP output fell significantly due to a steep decline in the production sector. Service industries such as accommodation, food and beverage services, and education were severely affected by coronavirus disease. The inflation rate rose to 2.58% in 2022 from 1% in 2020.
The UK government enforced stringent travel restrictions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. In March 2020, British nationals were advised against international travel. However, the authorities later withdrew the travel restrictions as the COVID-19 wave subsided. Similarly, the UK government placed appropriate travel restrictions with every intensifying wave of COVID-19.
To mitigate the impact of COVID-19, the UK government announced various fiscal packages at regular intervals. In October 2021, the government injected $103 billion into the economy to stimulate economic activities. The country also invested substantially in the national infrastructure plan, increased its health expenditure, and employed monetary measures such as reducing bank rates. The government also introduced a $385 billion package of government-backed loans to revive the businesses in the country.
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