(Bloomberg) -- The coronavirus pandemic, marked by an ambitious vaccine rollout, has cost the UK government an estimated £376 billion ($459 billion). 

The figure released Thursday by the National Audit Office has increased by £6 billion over the last ten months, with much of the expense going to support train traffic even as passenger numbers dwindled. 

The amount -- more than the annual gross domestic product of a country like Austria -- grew amid measures to administer vaccines, test and trace contact cases, and alleviate pressure on hospitals by improving patient discharge. The cost is estimated to be similar in neighboring France after governments across Europe opted to strain their finances to support the economy through the crisis. 


©2022 Bloomberg L.P.