The impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to be felt across England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland as lockdowns remain in place.

Statistics from across the UK government and devolved administrations show how the pandemic has affected our lives, from our mental health to our tourism industry.

Here are six charts showing some of what we learned in the past few weeks. For the very latest figures on deaths, cases, and other pandemic-related indicators, visit our Coronavirus insights explorer.

1. Depression and anxiety symptoms increased, while referrals to mental health services dropped during the first lockdown

In April 2020, the number of new referrals to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) decreased by 57% (compared with April 2019). In November 2020, the number of referrals had decreased by 9% (compared with November 2019).

The number of referrals to NHS funded secondary mental health, learning disability and autism services dropped by 31% in April 2020 (compared with April 2019). In contrast, in November 2020, referrals had increased by 6% (compared with November 2019).

This corresponds with a considerable fall in the number of General Practice (GP) appointments and referrals during the first lockdown in March 2020. It may indicate that fewer patients went to their GP, or that fewer referrals were made following GP appointments. However, it cannot be said with certainty at the moment that the lockdown was the reason for the fall in referrals to these services.

The extra measures taken to combat the coronavirus, such as a shift from GP face-to-face appointments to video or telephone meetings, may also be connected to the decline in the number of referrals.

Since the beginning of lockdown, there has been a marked increase in anxiety in Great Britain, although there has been some improvement with anxiety levels since January 2021, as seen in Coronavirus and the social impacts on Great Britain: 26 February 2021. Between 20 and 30 March 2020, average anxiety scores were 5.2 out of 10, an increase from 3.0 in the last quarter of 2019. By late June 2020, anxiety had decreased to 3.6 but still remained elevated compared with the end of 2019.

In addition, the proportion of people self-reporting symptoms of depression has almost doubled, according to Coronavirus and the social impacts on Great Britain: 11 December 2020. Between July 2019 and March 2020, 10% of adults experienced moderate to severe symptoms of depression. By June 2020, this had almost doubled to 19%. By November 2020, the proportion of adults experiencing some form of depression remained at 19%, while 17% experienced some form of anxiety.

2. GP face-to-face appointments decreased by more than half in April 2020, but have since increased

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April 2020 was an important month in terms of changes to the way GPs in England conducted appointments with their patients. The coronavirus (COVID-19) prompted changes in guidance for social distancing, including visits to our local surgeries.

The number of face-to-face appointments in April 2020 was less than half (from 15.9 million appointments to 7.5 million) that of March 2020. The number of home visits dropped by 42% between March and April 2020 (from 172,800 to 100,700), generally beginning to increase again from June 2020 onwards, but less than pre-pandemic levels.

Telephone appointments, however, doubled between February and March 2020, from 3.3 million to 6.6 million. By January 2021, the number of people making use of telephone appointments had almost tripled to 9.6 million, compared with 3.3 million in February 2020.

Provisional figures show there was also a sharp decrease in NHS dental activities in England in the period April to September 2020.

For example there was an 85% drop in the number of “units of dental activity” (treatments), from 39.1 million (April to September 2019) to 5.7 million (April to September 2020).

The data also showed that a higher proportion of the treatments were urgent cases, representing 31% in the period April to September 2020 of all work carried out, compared with 6% in the same period of 2019.

3. Proportion of businesses’ workforce on furlough leave has increased to 20% in February 2021

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, introduced in March 2020, paid 80% of the salary of workers placed on furlough leave, who might otherwise be made redundant. It was due to come to an end in October 2020 but was extended in December 2020 until the end of April 2021.

The proportion of businesses’ workforce on furlough leave increased from 11% in early December 2020 to 20% in early February 2021. This is considerably lower than during the first national lockdown, where 30% of businesses’ workforce were on furlough leave in early June 2020 (when comparable estimates began), and 31% were on furlough leave in late April 2020 according to unweighted estimates from the Business Impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) Survey.

This may be because of multiple factors, including some businesses having since adapted to coronavirus (COVID-19) related restrictions.

4. Accommodation for visitors saw the largest percentage fall in employment within travel and tourism in Quarter 3 (July to Sept) 2020

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has affected the travel and tourism industry heavily in 2020 and into 2021, with government restrictions both in the UK and worldwide preventing tourism for large periods of time.

The number of people reporting their main job as being in the travel and tourism industry during Quarter 3 2020 was 10.8% lower than in the same quarter of 2019. Over the same period, employment in other industries increased by 0.1%.

Of the industries within travel and tourism, accommodation for visitors saw the largest percentage fall in employment (16.7%) in Quarter 3 2020. Food and beverages serving activities also saw a relatively large fall in employment (15.3%).

For Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2020, accommodation for visitors saw an even larger percentage fall in employment of 21.5%. Food and beverage serving activities saw a smaller percentage fall (2.4%), but this industry made up 40% of employment in travel and tourism in the three months to March 2020.

5. In recent weeks, there is evidence that the percentage testing positive for COVID-19 has decreased in those in both patient-facing and non-patient-facing job roles

Estimated percentage of the population testing positive for COVID-19 on nose and throat swabs by patient-facing role and age, England, from 1 September 2020 to 6 February 2021

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  1. All results are provisional and subject to revision.

  2. These statistics refer to infections reported in the community, by which we mean private households. These figures exclude infections reported in hospitals, care homes and/or other institutional settings.

  3. There are fewer people in patient-facing roles in our sample than those in non-patient facing roles. Therefore the estimates for patient facing roles have a larger degree of uncertainty, represented by wider credible intervals.

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Evidence from recent weeks suggests that the percentage of people testing positive for the coronavirus has decreased in both patient-facing and non-patient facing job roles for both those aged under 35 years and 35 years and above.

For those in patient-facing job roles aged under 35 years, there was a decrease in testing positive for COVID-19 from 3.58% on 1 January 2021 to 1.01% on 6 February 2021. Workers in patient-facing job roles aged 35 years and over also saw a decrease from 2.68% on 1 January 2021 to 1.18% on 6 February 2021.

The trend was similar for those in non-patient facing job roles. On 1 January 2021, 2.81% of non-patient facing workers aged under 35 years tested positive for COVID-19 compared with 1.11% on 6 February 2021. For non-patient facing workers aged 35 years and over, there was a decrease from 1.90% on 1 January 2021 to 1.14% on 6 February 2021.

This contrasts with analysis published in January where the percentage of the population testing positive had decreased in non-patient facing roles but had increased among those in patient-facing roles, in the week ending 9 January 2021.

6. More young adults report that they would be unlikely to receive the vaccine if offered

Percentage of adults who said they had either received or would like to have the vaccine if offered, Great Britain, 17 to 21 February 2021

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  1. Questions: "Have you received a vaccine for the coronavirus (COVID-19)?", "Have you been offered the vaccine for the coronavirus (COVID-19)?" and "If a vaccine for the coronavirus (COVID-19) was offered to you, how likely or unlikely would you be to have the vaccine?”.

  2. Base: all adults.

  3. Totals may not sum to 100% because of rounding and proportions of less than 1% are not included in this chart.

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Between 17 and 21 February 2021, around 3% of all adults questioned in the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey said they would be very or fairly unlikely to have the vaccine if offered. This proportion is highest among young adults (16 to 29 years) at 5%, and lowest among those aged 70 years and over at less than 1%.

A notable proportion of young adults aged 16 to 29 years (7%) also said they were unsure or preferred not to say if they would receive the vaccine.

Of all adults who said they would be unlikely to have the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine if offered, or had decided not to have the vaccine when offered, the most commonly reported reasons why not were:

  • feeling worried about the long-term effects on their health (43%)
  • wanting to wait to see how well the vaccine works (34%)
  • feeling worried about the side effects (37%).