On this page
This page was last updated at 09:30 on 13 May 2021.
Sign up to our email alerts for daily updates in your inbox.
You can also explore the latest findings relating to coronavirus from ONS and other sources in our new interactive tool, coronavirus (COVID-19) latest insights.
Infections and deaths
Number of COVID-19 deaths continues to fall
11 May 2021
There were 205 deaths involving the coronavirus (COVID-19) in England and Wales in the week ending 30 April 2021 – a decrease of 55 deaths compared with the previous week.
The number of recorded deaths from all causes also fell in the latest week to 9,692, which is 7.3% below the five-year average. This is the eighth consecutive week that deaths have been below the five-year average.
Around 1 in 48 deaths (2.1%) in the latest week involved COVID-19, the lowest proportion since the week ending 18 September 2020.
Deaths from all causes were below the five-year average
Number of deaths registered by week, England and Wales, 28 December 2019 to 30 April 2021
- Figures include deaths of non-residents.
- Based on date a death was registered rather than occurred.
- All figures for 2020 and 2021 are provisional.
- The International Classification of Diseases, 10th Edition (ICD-10) definitions are as available in the Measuring the data section of the bulletin.
- The number of deaths registered in a week are affected when Bank Holidays occur.
- The average for 2015 to 2019 provides a comparison of the number of deaths expected per week in a usual (non-pandemic) year.
Using the most up-to-date data, the total number of deaths involving COVID-19 in England and Wales is almost 140,000 (139,429 registrations up to 30 April 2021).
In the week ending 30 April 2021, 58.0% of deaths involving COVID-19 were in people aged 75 years and over.
Our data are based on deaths registered in England and Wales and include all deaths where “novel coronavirus (COVID-19)” was mentioned on the death certificate. Weekly figures are available by local authority and health board.
The percentage of people with COVID-19 has decreased in Great Britain and is level in Northern Ireland
7 May 2021
In the weeks ending 2 May 2021, the percentage of people who would have tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19) has decreased in England, Wales and Scotland and remained level in Northern Ireland.
In England, we estimate that 46,100 people (0.08% or 1 in 1,180 people) in the community (those not in hospitals, care homes or institutional settings) had COVID-19 in the week ending 2 May 2021; this is a decrease on the 54,200 people estimated to have had COVID-19 in the week ending 24 April 2021.
In Wales, we estimate that 1,500 people (0.05% or 1 in 2,070 people) had COVID-19 in the week ending 2 May 2021, down from 1,900 people in the week ending 24 April 2021.
In Northern Ireland, an estimated 2,400 people (0.13% or 1 in 750 people) had COVID-19 in the week ending 2 May 2021, similar to the 1,900 (0.11%) estimated in the week ending 24 April 2021.
In Scotland, we estimate that 6,900 people (0.13% or 1 in 760 people) had COVID-19 in the week ending 2 May 2021, down from 8,200 people the week before.
The percentage of people testing positive decreased in England, Wales and Scotland and remained level for Northern Ireland in the weeks up to 2 May 2021
Estimated percentage of the population testing positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19) on nose and throat swabs from 3 May 2020
- All estimates are subject to uncertainty, given that a sample is only part of the wider population. The model used to provide these estimates is a Bayesian model: these provide 95% credible intervals. A credible interval gives an indication of the uncertainty of an estimate from data analysis. 95% credible intervals are calculated so that there is a 95% probability of the true value lying in the interval.
- Official reported estimates are plotted at a reference point believed to be most representative of the given week.
- The official estimate presents the best estimate at that point in time. Modelled estimates are used to calculate the official reported estimate. The model smooths the series to understand the trend and is revised each week to incorporate new test results, providing the best indication of trend over time.
- Survey fieldwork for the pilot study began in England on 26 April 2020. In Wales, fieldwork began on 29 June 2020, in Northern Ireland fieldwork began on 26 July 2020 and in Scotland fieldwork began on 21 September 2020.
Antibody positivity and vaccination continue to rise
13 May 2021
An estimated 7 in 10 adults (69.3%) in the community population in England would have tested positive for antibodies to the coronavirus (COVID-19) in the week beginning 19 April 2021.
This is only slightly higher than recorded in previous weeks, which could be because antibody levels have been seen to drop as time passes following a person’s first vaccine dose, before being boosted by the second dose. The number of first vaccinations administered was also lower in April than in previous months.
In Wales, an estimated 63.2% of adults would have tested positive for antibodies. In Northern Ireland, 63.5% would have tested positive, and in Scotland 59.2%.
Across all four UK countries, there is a clear pattern between vaccination and testing positive for antibodies, although antibodies alone are not a precise measure of immunity acquired from vaccination.
In the week beginning 19 April, we estimate between 61.9% and 73.0% of the UK population had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, with between 23.8% and 35.3% of adults having received both doses.
Antibody positivity and vaccination are higher in older age groups, reflecting the age prioritisation in the UK’s vaccination programme.
Antibody positivity is increasing with age
Modelled percentage of adults testing positive for antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, 7 December 2020 to 22 April 2021, and adults who received one or more doses of vaccine and fully vaccinated adults, 29 March to 25 April 2021, by grouped age, UK
- All results are provisional and subject to revision.
- These statistics refer to antibody tests and vaccinations reported in the community, by which we mean private households. These figures exclude individuals in hospitals, care homes and/or other institutional settings.
- In Northern Ireland, the number of people sampled who tested positive for antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 or reported receiving a COVID-19 vaccination is low compared with England, Wales and Scotland; therefore, people aged 50 to 69 years are included in the same age group, and those aged 70 years and over are included in the same age group.
- All estimates are subject to uncertainty, given that a sample is only part of the wider population. A credible interval gives an indication of the uncertainty of an estimate from data analysis. Credible intervals of 95% are calculated so that there is a 95% probability of the true value lying in the interval.
- The denominators used for vaccinations are the total people in the sample at that particular time point, post-stratified by the mid-year population estimate.
- Our estimates of vaccination are provided for context alongside our antibodies estimates, but are likely to be different from the official figures. The daily official government figures provide the recorded actual numbers of vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 issued.
We have seen antibody positivity wane briefly in some age groups before the effect of second vaccine doses. In March, antibody positivity decreased among people aged over 80 years, before increasing again as second doses were administered. A similar pattern was seen among those in their 70s at the end of March, and a drop in positivity is now seen among those in their 60s.
People identifying as Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, or Jewish had higher COVID-19 mortality rates compared with the Christian group
13 May 2021
During the pandemic, people in England identifying as Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, or Jewish had higher age-standardised mortality rates (ASMRs) for deaths involving COVID-19 than those identifying as Christian.
People identifying as “no religion” had lower ASMRs than the Christian group, as did women who identify as “other religion”.
Even when adjusting for differences in age, location, socio-demographic factors, and pre-existing health conditions, Jewish, Muslim, and Buddhist men and the Hindu population were significantly more at risk than Christians during the first wave (24 January to 11 September 2020).
During the second wave (from 12 September onwards), people identifying as Muslim, Hindu, or Sikh were at a higher risk than Christians after adjustment.
These findings show that the pattern of excess COVID-19 mortality in different religious groups has changed over the pandemic. Even after accounting for the factors described above, the Hindu population and Muslim men were disproportionately affected throughout the pandemic. For other religious groups, the excess risk was only observed in the first wave (Jewish and Buddhist men) or second wave (Sikh men and women and Muslim women).
People identifying as Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, or Jewish all had higher COVID-19 mortality rates compared with the Christian religion group
Age-standardised mortality rates of deaths involving COVID-19 per 100,000 person-years at risk, with 95% confidence intervals, by religion group and sex, England: 24 January 2020 to 28 February 2021
- Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures based on death registrations up to 19 April 2021, for deaths involving COVID-19 that occurred between 24 January 2020 and 28 February 2021, of people aged 30 to 100 years that could be linked to the 2011 Census and General Practice Extraction Service Data for Pandemic and Planning Research.
- Deaths were defined using the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision (ICD-10). Deaths involving COVID-19 include those with an underlying cause, or any mention, of ICD-10 codes U07.1 (COVID-19, virus identified), U07.2 (COVID-19, virus not identified) or U09.9 (Post-COVID condition).
- ASMRs are expressed per 100,000 person-years at-risk and can be interpreted as mortality rates per 100,000 population per year.
Excess deaths in care homes were higher in wave one of the coronavirus pandemic than wave two
11 May 2021
Since the beginning of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, there were 173,974 deaths of care home residents (wherever the death occurred) in England and Wales. This is a 19.5% increase of the five-year average (145,560 deaths).
Excess deaths (deaths above the five-average between 2015 and 2019) from all causes were higher in wave one (27,079 excess deaths) than wave two (1,335 excess deaths). This may be due to delayed access to care services and rapid testing during wave one; and lower care home occupancy, vaccine availability and mortality displacement in wave two.
Of the deaths occurring during the pandemic, 42,341 involved COVID-19, accounting for nearly one in four (24.3%) deaths of care home residents.
There were a higher proportion of deaths involving COVID-19 in wave two (25.7%) than wave one (23.1%), however the higher proportion of deaths involving COVID-19 in wave two could be attributed to undiagnosed COVID-19 cases in the first wave.
We defined wave one as deaths registered between 14 March and 12 September 2020 and wave two as deaths registered from 12 September 2020 (inclusive) until 2 April 2021.
Deaths at home increased by a third in 2020, while deaths in hospitals fell except for COVID-19
7 May 2021
Deaths in private homes, from all causes, were one-third higher in 2020 than in the previous five years. There were around 167,000 deaths from all causes in private homes in England and Wales in 2020, compared with an average of 125,000 between 2015 and 2019.
The majority of deaths due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) (where the coronavirus was the main cause) occurred in hospitals and care homes, while many deaths from other causes happened in private homes.
Our first release of the finalised mortality data for 2020 shows that “excess deaths” from all causes were 14% above the five-year average in England and Wales, with COVID-19 being the main reason for excess deaths.
Excess deaths are the difference between the number of deaths registered in 2020 and the five-year average (2015 to 2019). Using the average gives us a comparison of how many deaths we would expect in a "usual" year, before the coronavirus pandemic.
There were almost 76,000 more deaths from all causes and in all locations (hospitals, care homes, private homes and elsewhere) in England and Wales in 2020 than the five-year average.
Private homes and care homes bore the brunt of excess deaths in 2020
Deaths from all causes by place of death, England and Wales, deaths registered in 2020 and average for 2015 to 2019
Economy, business and jobs
The economy grew by 2.1% in March 2021
12 May 2021
Real gross domestic product (GDP) is estimated to have grown by 2.1% in March 2021, the fastest monthly growth since August 2020, as schools in some parts of the UK reopened throughout the month.
The output approach to GDP shows that March’s level is 5.9% below the levels seen in February 2020, and 1.1% below the initial recovery peak in October 2020.
Gross domestic product (GDP) contracted by 1.5% in Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2020, following 1.3% growth in Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec) 2020.
The service sector grew by 1.9% in March 2021, with schools re-opening across England and Wales and retail trade sales continuing to show strength. However, despite this growth, education output in March 2021 remained 3.9% below its December 2020 level, when schools were last fully open before the latest coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions were introduced across the UK.
Output in human health and social work activities grew 1.7% in March 2021, following revised growth of 0.7% in February and negative 0.7% in January. This gradual pick up in health in the first three months of 2021 is driven by the NHS Test and Trace service and COVID-19 vaccination across the UK.
Output in the production sector grew by 1.8% in March 2021, as manufacturing grew for a second consecutive month, at 2.1%.
The construction sector grew by 5.8% in March 2021, driven by growth in both new work and repair and maintenance. The growth in construction (and indeed manufacturing) reflects businesses continuing to adapt, including development of COVID-19 secure environments in which to operate.
UK online job adverts in catering and hospitality rise above pre-pandemic levels
13 May 2021
UK online job adverts for “catering and hospitality” roles were above pre-pandemic levels, at 103% of their February 2020 average on 7 May 2021.
According to Adzuna, the volume of online job adverts for catering and hospitality has increased by 46 percentage points since 9 April 2021, a strong upward trend coinciding with the recent easing of hospitality restrictions across the UK.
On 7 May 2021, UK online job adverts for "catering and hospitality" were 103% of their February 2020 average volume, up 46 percentage points since 9 April 2021
Index of job adverts on Adzuna by category, 100 = average job adverts in February 2020, 4 January 2019 to 7 May 2021, non-seasonally adjusted
- Further category breakdowns are included in the Online job advert estimates dataset and more details on the methodology can be found in Using Adzuna data to derive an indicator of weekly vacancies.
Catering and hospitality online job adverts saw the largest fortnightly increase of all categories on 7 May 2021 (22 percentage points) when compared with 22 April 2021. Within the same period, another notable increase was seen in “transport, logistics and warehouse”, which was 18 percentage points higher than a fortnight ago, at 235% of its February 2020 average level on 7 May 2021.
Overall, total UK online job adverts were at 107% of their February 2020 average level on 7 May 2021, an increase of 4 percentage points from a fortnight ago. This marks the first time there have been more online job adverts than there were for the same period in 2019.
Also published recently
- Employee workplace pensions in the UK: 2020 provisional and 2019 final results
- Business Insights and Conditions Survey, analysis over time, UK: 24 August 2020 to 4 April 2021
- Business demography, quarterly experimental statistics, UK: January to March 2021
People and social impacts
Coronavirus lockdowns drove fall in recorded crime across England and Wales in 2020
13 May 2021
Recorded crime in England and Wales fell by 8% in the 12 months to December 2020, driven by substantial reductions during coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown restrictions.
Approximately 5.6 million offences were recorded, with reductions in most crime types – including a 26% fall in theft offences.
Offences involving knives or sharp instruments (knife-enabled crime) fell by 9%, largely because of a 29% decrease in knife-enabled robbery offences. Across London, knife-enabled crime fell by 21% compared with 2019.
However, the number of domestic abuse-related offences recorded by police rose by 7% compared with 2019. A 15% rise in drug offences reflected proactive police activity in crime hotspots during lockdown.
Recorded theft and robbery offences fell during coronavirus lockdowns
Changes in recorded crime in England and Wales in 2020 compared with 2019. Scale indexed where 100 = 2019 monthly average level
Recorded offences fluctuated alongside coronavirus restrictions. October to December 2020 saw a 7% decrease in recorded crime compared with the previous three months, as measures were tightened across England and Wales.
It follows a 15% fall in April to June 2020 as the first lockdown was imposed, and a 19% rise in July to September 2020, as restrictions were eased over the summer.
In 2020, the Telephone-operated Crime Survey for England and Wales showed there were 12 million offences, including 3.1 million theft, and 4.5 million fraud offences.
More people leave home as lockdown eases
7 May 2021
Just over one in five (21%) adults reported staying home or only leaving for work, exercise, essential shopping or medical needs as lockdown restrictions ease. This continues a falling trend since mid-January 2021, when 65% of people were staying home.
During the period 28 April to 3 May 2021, more people said they were using previously closed services. Among adults who left home, 17% visited a hair salon or barber, compared with less than 1% in the week ending 10 January 2021.
Over one in four (28%) shopped for things other than necessities (compared with 6% in January). 10% took children to and from activities (compared with 1% in January).
Fewer adults (82%) are avoiding physical contact when outside their home compared with over 9 in 10 (92%) between 10 to 14 March. However, compliance with most measures remains high, with 87% of adults reporting handwashing when returning home (same as last week) and 98% using a face covering (97% last week).
17% of adults who reported leaving home visited a hair salon or barber this week
Of adults who reported they had left home in the past seven days for any reason, Great Britain, December 2020 to May 2021
- Question: "In the past seven days, for what reasons have you left your home?".
- Base: all adults who reported having in the past seven days left their home for any reason.
- Not all possible response categories are shown on this chart. For data for all possible response categories to this question please see Table 6 of the dataset associated with this bulletin.
Safety concerns raised by those refusing vaccine
7 May 2021
Between February and March 2021, 50 participants who were uncertain, unable, or unwilling to receive COVID-19 vaccines took part in interviews exploring their attitudes. Participants were not hesitant about vaccines in general, and many stressed that they did not belong to an “anti-vax” movement.
The most common concern was that participants did not trust that COVID-19 vaccines were safe. The speed of vaccine development and uncertainty about long-term side effects were frequently mentioned.
Some did not feel the COVID-19 vaccines were necessary because they were younger and thought they were unlikely to develop severe symptoms. Some thought they were already taking adequate steps to avoid catching the coronavirus (COVID-19).
Some participants had heard that COVID-19 vaccines contained ingredients that raised religious or ethical concerns.