Covid-19 in London
The prevalence of new cases in the 32 boroughs of Greater London
Some older browsers/devices may be unable to load the interactive visualisation with London details. Assuming you can view it, you can examine the evolution of the case rates by clicking (or tapping) on the timeline at the bottom of the chart. Then you can slide either end point of the timeline if you wish. You can add a comparison with some reporting area(s) outside London by clicking “⊕ Add region” and selecting your desired option(s). You may want to simplify the chart by removing some of the boroughs, which can be achieved by clicking “⊕ Add region” and deselecting some of the checked boxes.
Extracted from Our World in Data’s visualisations of the pandemic in the UK, the interactive chart above shows the latest prevalence of covid-19 by London borough.
After the huge second wave had dwindled away to a few ripples by early March, case rates in the London boroughs remained minimal throughout the spring.
In the UK’s third wave, dominated by the delta variant, London escaped relatively lightly for the first few weeks. High case rates were initially restricted to Lancashire and north-east England, and they remain particularly high in the latter. However, troubling outbreaks progressively spread southwards, especially in cities (as one would usually expect). At the time of writing, the whole of northern England is reporting high rates and Birmingham has also become a hotspot.
London boroughs only began to experience problematic case rates in late June, especially along the banks of the Thames from Richmond to Southwark, and in several parts of south London. The case rate in the Acre Lane area of Brixton rose almost as high as anywhere in the country. As everyone now knows, vaccinations have weakened but not broken the link between cases and severe outcomes. Therefore, we should never again see the horrendous death rates of the first and second waves, but some increase in hospitalisations and deaths is to be expected.
Londoners may face greater levels of risk than elsewhere because vaccination rates in the capital are relatively low compared with almost every other part of the UK. In Tower Hamlets only 36% of adults had had both jabs by 22 July. Rates of vaccination are generally higher in the outer London boroughs – but still considerably lower than in the home counties. In the east Surrey district of Tandridge, for example, 72.5% of adults have received both vaccine doses – a third more than in the outer London borough of Barnet and twice as many as in Tower Hamlets.
Over the past few days (as at 23 July) case rates in London – and nationally – have begun to decline. In different circumstances this might indicate that the present wave has peaked. However, the effects of the ‘Freedom Day’ (19 July) deregulation could yet cause another spike. It’s too soon to say.
Text last updated 23 July 2021. The chart is automatically updated daily, usually between 5 and 7pm, UK time.