It has, most certainly, been a world-changing and history-defining year. A world-wide pandemic continues to cause devastation, one of the most heated presidential elections in history took centre stage and thousands across the world came together in a push for social change.
We’re taking a look back at what made the headlines in 2020 – a year like no other.
January 2nd: States of emergency were declared as parts of Australia were destroyed by wildfires. It became known as the Black Summer, lasting until March 2020.
January 8th: Megan Markle and Prince Harry announced they were stepping down from Royal Family duties via Instagram.
January 11th: China recorded its first Coronavirus-related death in Wuhan. Media outlets called the virus a ‘mysterious outbreak’.
January 16th: Donald Trump’s impeachment trial began. Congressman Adam Schiff called Trump ‘a threat to national security’ and said his conduct ‘warrants removal from office’.
January 23rd: China imposed lockdown measures from 10am that day, which lasted 76 days in total.
January 26th: Former pro basketball player Kobe Bryant died with his 13-year-old daughter and seven others in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California.
Gianna was quick to remind people that her father Kobe Bryant, who has three other daughters, didn’t need a son to continue the family’s basketball legacy https://t.co/z7VxyfSII7
— LAT Entertainment (@latimesent) January 27, 2020
January 31st: The UK officially withdrew from the European Union and entered the transition period.
February 5th: Trump was acquitted on articles of impeachment, abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
February 11th: The WHO named Coronavirus ‘COVID-19’. ‘We now have a name for the disease and it’s Covid-19,’ WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters in Geneva.
February 24th: Harvey Weinstein was convicted of rape. The film producer was found guilty of rape and criminal sexual acts but was acquitted of the majority of serious charges against him.
March 3rd: The UK recorded its first hospital death of COVID-19. The woman was said to be in her 70s and had been “in and out of hospital for non-coronavirus reasons”. She was being treated at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading.
March 9th: Italy became the first country to implement a nationwide lockdown. The government had extended strict quarantine measures to the whole country. The lockdown lasted until mid-May.
March 11th: The WHO declared coronavirus a pandemic. The WHO’s Director General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said that the organisation had become “deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity, and by the alarming levels of inaction”.
March 18th: The UK government announced that UK schools would be closed indefinitely, with exams cancelled. Schools would remain open only for key workers’ children and ‘the most vulnerable’.
March 23rd: The first UK lockdown was announced via TV broadcast. Previous government advice on social distancing became mandatory with police now able to enforce such measures.
April 3rd: Wuhan residents came out of two-month lockdown but were warned against going outside and meeting others.
April 9th: Debenhams went into administration in April for the second time within a year. The department store went into liquidation in early December, putting 12,000 jobs at risk.
May 4th: Murder hornets arrived in the US. The 2-inch (5cm) long Asian giant hornets were found in Washington state. Multiple stings of the hornet can be fatal for humans.
May 13th: Lockdown restrictions in the UK were eased. People were allowed out for unlimited exercise and could meet one other person outdoors, as long as they stay 2m away from each other.
May 5th: The Department of Health reported that the death toll from Covid-19 in the UK was now the highest in Europe, after surpassing Italy.
May 22nd: Quarantine measures were announced for travellers, meaning they would have to isolate for 14 days on arrival to the UK. Those who breached the rules would be fined.
May 25th: George Floyd died in police custody. His death sparked protests worldwide over racial inequality and police brutality,
June 1st: Children in Reception, years one and years six were allowed to return to school.
June 15th: Non-essential shops were allowed to re-open and face masks became compulsory on public transport.
June 23rd: Imperial College London administered the first dose of their proposed Covid-19 vaccine, with the first volunteers receiving the trial.
July 9th: High street giants Boots and John Lewis cut 5,300 jobs and closed many stores nationwide.
July 31st: Boris Johnson delivered a speech from Downing Street saying that the UK was managing the pandemic better than in March but explained that high risk venues would still remain shut. He reminded the country to continue following the rules and added ‘This is how we will avoid a return to full national lockdown’.
August 3rd: Eat Out to Help Out government scheme began, offering half price meals every Monday-Wednesday throughout August in restaurants and pubs.
August 13th: A Level results were announced, leading to much controversy. The grades standardisation algorithm was heavily criticised and all students were subsequently issued the Centre Assessment Grades (CAGs), which had been previously made by their teachers.
August 22nd: £10,000 fines were introduced for organisers of illegal parties and gatherings ahead of August bank holiday weekend.
September 14th: Social gatherings of more than 6 people were made illegal in England.
September 23rd: Holiday firm Thomas Cook collapsed after 178 years in business.
September 24th: NHS Covid-19 contact-tracing app was launched in England and Wales. The app had multiple failings in its initial stages, including failing to record potential exposures due to errors.
October 2nd: The US president and first lady, Melania Trump, tested positive for coronavirus and began quarantine. President Trump was discharged from hospital after 3 days, claiming he was given ‘an experimental drug cocktail’.
October 14th: The three-tier system was introduced in the UK. At the time, only Liverpool and surrounding areas were put into Tier 3.
October 23rd: Welsh minister Mark Drakeford announced a fire-break lockdown which required everyone to stay at home, other than for certain reasons, and the closure of all non-essential businesses. It lasted for 2 weeks.
October 29th: Labour suspended former leader Jeremy Corbyn after he said antisemitism in the party was “overstated” following an EHRC investigation.
November 3rd: The 2020 US presidential election was held. Due to delays in counting and reporting, Biden and Harris were not announced as the winners by news outlets until November 7, four days after the election.
November 5th: The UK entered a four-week second national lockdown, replacing the three-tier “traffic light” system.
November 7th: Biden was declared winner by media outlets, but President Trump accused him of ‘rushing to falsely pose as the winner’. President Trump declared that he would legally challenge the count “to ensure election laws are fully upheld and the rightful winner is seated”.
I WON THIS ELECTION, BY A LOT!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 7, 2020
November 17th: Labour reinstated Jeremy Corbyn after suspension over antisemitism remarks.
November 26th: President Trump said he would leave White House if the electoral college votes for President-elect Joe Biden.
November 30th: Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia Group collapsed into administration, putting 13,000 jobs at risk. Green’s fashion empire including Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge, Dorothy Perkins, Evans and Burton.
December 2nd: The UK became first country in the world to approve the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, with the first doses going to health care workers, care home staff and residents, and people over age 80.
December 8th: The Pfizer vaccine was given to first person in the UK, 90-year-old Margaret Keenan.
December 15th: Joe Biden was confirmed as president-elect by Electoral College, bringing an end to President Trump’s battle. In the end, Biden reached 306 votes. Current US President Donald Trump received 232.
December 19th: The planned relaxation of rules for five days over the festive period was scraped and a new fourth tier of restrictions was introduced for areas such as London, Kent and Essex. Scotland also placed a ban on the border making it illegal for anyone, unless exempt, to come in and out of England.