Provisional figures between 3 January, 2019 and 1 January, 2021 point to 613,197 deaths in England and Wales, 14 percent above the previous five-year average (537,579). The BBC calculated that, adding to the figures from Scotland and Northern Ireland, published in part, the overall figure for the UK is close to 697,000 deaths, with an excess of 91,000 deaths, equivalent to a 15 percent rise, the largest increase in a 12-month period since 1940.

The figures are still provisional because there is a delay between deaths and their registration, which may affect the figures at the end of December, but confirm a significant increase in excess mortality in 2020 that was only observed before in 1918, due to the pandemic of the "Spanish Flu", and then in 1940, shortly after the start of World War II. Excess mortality amounts to all deaths recorded in one year and compared the value with the average of the last five years, being considered the best indicator to assess the impact on mortality because it includes deaths that may have been an indirect consequence of the pandemic, such as lack of medical care or socio-economic problems.

Richard Murray, director of the King's Fund, a research institution specializing in health issues, commented that the UK has one of the highest excess mortality rates in the world per million inhabitants. "In a pandemic, mistakes cost lives. Decisions to go into confinement have been slow and the government has not learned from past mistakes or from the experiences of other countries. Like many countries, the UK was ill-prepared for this type of pandemic," he said, quoted by the BBC. The British government was criticized for not earlier declaring the decision to go into lockdown in March 2020 to halt the spread of the coronavirus and the same happened with the current confinement, which began last week after the Festive Christmas period. According to the latest official figures, the UK has counted 81,960 deaths of infected people since the beginning of the pandemic, but the balance rate rises to 82,624 when cases whose death certificates refer to the new coronavirus as a contributing factor are added.