Covid rules 2023: 10 most common symptoms as cases surge in UK

More than three years have passed since Covid-19 first emerged and yet the virus still poses a risk to the UK.

Health authorities have yet to declare the virus endemic – which would mean it is officially recognized as having a permanent presence in the country.

And while infection rates are nowhere near as high as when social distancing measures are enforced, cases continue to rise in some areas.

People walk past messages written on the National Covid Memorial Wall, on the third anniversary of the UK going into a national lockdown


On Thursday – the third anniversary of the first lockdown in March 2020 – NHS England said it had treated more than a million Covid patients since the pandemic began.

“Although we are in a very different situation today than we were three years ago, thanks largely to the speed and success of the NHS Covid vaccination programme, we know there are still risks from the virus,” said Chief Strategy Officer Chris Hopson Sky news.

Amid a recent spike in infections, The Independent provides you with an overview of the latest case data and a summary of the top symptoms to look out for.

What are the latest Covid numbers in England?

It is believed that around one in 20 people in the UK is currently infected with Covid and more than 200,000 coronavirus deaths have now been recorded on the associated death certificate.

According to the latest data, 26,185 people in England tested positive for Covid in the seven days up to and including March 11 – a 6.5 per cent increase on the previous seven days.

Deaths with Covid-19 on the death certificate are also increasing – by 1.8 percent in the seven days to February 17.

Meanwhile, more than 7,000 people were hospitalized in the seven days up to and including March 13 – a significant increase of 12.2 percent compared to the previous week.

What are the most common Covid symptoms?

According to the latest data from the ZOE Health Study, the most common symptoms reported by participants who tested positive for Covid are:

  • Sore throat
  • a runny nose
  • a stuffy nose
  • Sneeze
  • a cough without phlegm
  • Headache
  • a cough with phlegm
  • a hoarse voice
  • muscle aches and pains
  • an altered sense of smell

A wreath sits at the Scottish Covid Memorial in Glasgow


According to the NHS, other common Covid symptoms include:

  • high temperature or chills (chills)
  • shortness of breath
  • feeling tired or exhausted
  • loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • feel sick or be sick

The symptoms are very similar to the symptoms of other diseases such as colds and flu.

Can you still get Covid vaccines and how?

Vaccines are still readily available and vaccination appointments can be booked online via the NHS website.

It was announced in early March that those most at risk from the coronavirus would be offered an extra booster dose this spring.

The additional vaccine is offered for:

  • Adults aged 75 and over
  • Residents of a nursing home for the elderly
  • People aged five years and older who are immunocompromised

Those eligible will be offered the vaccine about six months after their previous dose.

Scotland’s refresher campaign begins in the last week of March.

Vaccination in England and Wales will start in early April, with introduction in Northern Ireland from mid-April.

A further booster dose is expected to be offered to people with an increased risk of Covid in autumn 2023.

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