Appendix 1

Table 3: Summary timeline of key pandemic events and social care policies, up to 31 May 2020



Cases of pneumonia of unknown cause in Wuhan, China, first picked up by WHO

31 December 2019

First confirmed UK COVID-19 cases

31 January 2020

Public Health England guidance states it is ‘very unlikely’ people in care homes will become infected

25 February 2020

Coronavirus action plan published by government

3 March 2020

First reported UK COVID-19 death

5 March 2020

WHO declares COVID-19 pandemic

11 March 2020

Budget 2020 COVID-19 response fund: £1.6bn for local authorities to help deal with pressures on services, including adult social care, and £1.3bn to support the NHS discharge process including social care costs (both announced 19/03/20)

11 March 2020

New guidance for social care settings includes advice to review care home visiting policies

13 March 2020

CQC suspends routine inspections

16 March 2020

NHS England asks hospitals to urgently discharge patients who are medically fit to leave, including into social care settings

17 March 2020

Prime Minister introduces lockdown

23 March 2020

Coronavirus Act 2020 (including Care Act easements)

25 March 2020

Guidance for care homes includes that negative tests are not required prior to admissions. Advises against visitors except in exceptional situations. Advises ‘care as normal’ for people without symptoms

2 April 2020

Five pillar plan for testing

2 April 2020

National PPE plan authorises the distribution of 34 million items of PPE for social care providers

10 April 2020

COVID-19 adult social care action plan. Commits to testing all symptomatic care home residents and social care workers, and all residents prior to admission to care homes. Commits to a recruitment drive, and establishing a new CARE branded website and app for the social care workforce

15 April 2020

£1.6bn for councils including for social care services

18 April 2020

National adult social care recruitment campaign

23 April 2020

Testing expanded to asymptomatic care home staff and residents

28 April 2020

UK government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy includes ‘protecting care homes’ – every care home for those aged 65 and older to be ‘offered’ testing by 6 June. Asks care homes to limit staff movement between homes

11 May 2020

First steps to ‘reopening society’ from lockdown

13 May 2020

Ringfenced £600m infection control fund for local authorities to cover costs of measures to reduce COVID-19 transmission in care homes, alongside a broader package of support

15 May 2020

Source: COVID-19 policy tracker: a timeline of national policy and health system responses to COVID-19 in England.

†††††† Major non-social care related events and policies are also included in italics.

Previous Next