Coronavirus and the social impacts on Great Britain: 12 June 2020

Indicators from the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey covering the period 4 June to 7 June 2020 to understand the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on people, households and communities in Great Britain.

This is not the latest release. View latest release

Cyswllt:
Email Ruth Davies

Dyddiad y datganiad:
12 June 2020

Cyhoeddiad nesaf:
19 June 2020

1. Main points

  • Over 9 in 10 adults (91%) in Great Britain have left their home this week – the same proportion as last week; however, this is lower in Wales with 85% of adults reporting they had left their home compared with 91% of adults in England and Scotland.

  • Over half of adults (53%) had visited a park or public green space this week with 44% of these saying they had met with family or friends from outside of their household; this is a further increase on last week.

  • Just under 4 in 10 adults in employment (37%) said they had left their home to travel to and from work in the past seven days, decreasing from 40% last week.

  • 3 in 10 adults (30%) reported that they had used face coverings outside of their home in the past week, a slight increase when compared with last week (28%); again, people were most likely to wear these shopping.

  • Of those adults who had used public transport in the past seven days, 45% had worn a face covering when travelling on public transport.

  • For those it was applicable to, over half of parents (51%) in England felt either very or quite unconfident in sending their children back to school in June, a decrease from 63% last week.

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2. Understanding the impact on society

This weekly bulletin contains data and indicators from a new module being undertaken through the Office for National Statistics’s (ONS’s) Opinions and Lifestyle Survey (OPN) to understand the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on British society.

The statistics in this publication are based on a survey of 2,500 adults aged 16 years and over conducted between 4 and 7 June 2020 (inclusive). Results this week are based on 1,914 responding adults (77% response rate).

It contains breakdowns of results by sex and for identified "at-risk" groups that have been advised to take additional precautions. This includes those aged 70 years and over and those with certain underlying health conditions. The full list of conditions is included in the Glossary.

Results in the weekly bulletin are for Great Britain only unless stated otherwise.

This bulletin presents a summary of results, with further data including confidence intervals for the estimates contained in the associated datasets. Where changes in results from previous weeks, or differences between groups are presented in this bulletin, associated confidence intervals should be used to assess the statistical significance of the change. Not all differences commented on in this bulletin are statistically significant.

Throughout this bulletin, “this week” refers to responses collected during the period 4 to 7 June 2020 and “last week” refers to those collected during the period 28 to 31 May 2020.

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3. Social actions undertaken to prevent the spread of the coronavirus

Staying at home

Of adults in Great Britain, over 9 in 10 (91%) said they had left their home for any reason in the past seven days, the same level as last week. This however was lower in Wales. 91% of adults in England and Scotland had left their homes this week, while 85% of adults in Wales reported doing so.

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Official guidance on staying at home varies across England, Wales and Scotland. This section gives the reasons people are leaving their home but an estimate of compliance is not provided. Results are for Great Britain, unless stated otherwise.

Although official guidance on reasons to leave the home has changed in recent weeks, for comparison with previous weeks, the proportion of people in Great Britain that said they had either not left their home or only left to travel to and from work; to do essential shopping; for medical reasons or to exercise is at its lowest level of 54%. This compares with 63% last week and a peak of 85% between 3 April and 13 April 2020.

The largest increase in reasons for leaving the home this week is for meeting up with people in a personal place (for example, visiting friends or family at home), up to 19% compared with 8% last week.

This week we asked people about their gardens and how they use them. Almost 9 in 10 (88%) adults said their home had a garden, and 94% of those had spent time in their garden in the past seven days. Of those who had spent time in their garden in the past seven days, over 4 in 10 (41%) said they had done so with friends or family members from outside of their household. A more in-depth analysis looking at groups that are most likely to have access to a private garden is available.

Over half of adults (53%) in Great Britain said they had visited a park or public green space this week, up from 49% last week. Of these, 44% said they had met up with friends or family from outside of their household.

Again, this varied across the three countries:

  • over half of adults (56%) in England said they had visited a park or public green space, of which 44% had met with others

  • in Scotland almost 4 in 10 adults (39%) had visited a park or public green space, with 38% of these saying they had met with others

  • in Wales, just under one-third of adults (32%) had visited a park or public green space, with 50% of these meeting others

It should be noted that at the time of the survey, guidance on staying at home varied across England, Wales and Scotland.

Feeling safe outside the home

Across Great Britain, feelings of safety outside the home decreased this week after increasing over the past two weeks. Just under 4 in 10 adults (37%) said they felt safe or very safe when outside of their home in relation to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, falling from 41% last week. Similar to last week, this varied across the three countries of Great Britain:

  • 46% of adults in Scotland felt safe or very safe outside of their home this week

  • 39% of adults in Wales felt safe or very safe outside of their home

  • 36% of adults in England felt safe or very safe outside of their home

There were also differences in how men and women felt when outside of their homes. While 46% of men felt safe or very safe, just 29% of women reported feeling this way. It should be noted, that consistently over time, feelings of safety when outside of the home have differed for men and women. As a point of reference (but not for comparison purposes), 69% of women and 88% of men felt either very or fairly safe when walking alone after dark in England and Wales in the year ending March 2019 (pre-COVID-19).

The proportion of adults in Great Britain that said they had enough information about how to protect themselves fell slightly this week. Over 8 in 10 adults in Great Britain (84%) said they had enough information about how to protect themselves from the coronavirus (COVID-19), compared with 87% last week.

Almost half of adults in Great Britain (46%) said they felt they had enough information about government plans for easing restrictions because of the coronavirus (COVID-19). A similar proportion of adults in England and Wales felt this way (45% and 44% respectively), but over half of adults in Scotland (55%) reported they had enough information about their government’s plans.

Levels of support for the easing of stay at home measures also varied by country. Adults in the three countries of Great Britain were asked to what extent they supported the easing of the stay at home measures in the countries they lived in:

  • less than 1 in 5 (16%) adults living in England strongly supported the easing of the stay at home measures in England

  • almost 2 in 5 (37%) adults in Wales strongly supported the easing of restrictions in Wales

  • over 2 in 5 (44%) adults in Scotland strongly supported the easing of restrictions in Scotland

Face coverings and handwashing

In the past seven days, 3 in 10 adults (30%) have worn a face covering outside of their homes to slow the spread of the coronavirus, a slight increase when compared with last week (28%). Women and all adults with a health condition were most likely to report wearing a face covering when outside of their home this week (36%), followed by those aged 70 years and over (34%), while just 23% of men had reported they had worn a face covering in the past seven days.

For those that had worn a face covering, the most common situation was while shopping (73%), followed by running errands (23%) and walking or exercising outdoors (21%).

Regardless of whether they had worn a face covering in the past, 4 in 10 adults (40%) said they were either very or fairly likely to wear one in the next seven days. This has increased from 36% of adults last week.

Of those adults who had used public transport in the past seven days, 45% had worn a face covering while travelling on public transport.

Over 9 in 10 adults (93%) said they either always or often washed their hands with soap and water straight away after returning home from a public place. This is a similar level to last week (94%) and levels seen between 17 and 27 April.

Self-isolation

There are many reasons people may choose to self-isolate, so these results should not be interpreted as an estimate of those with COVID-19 symptoms or those diagnosed with COVID-19.

In the past seven days, just over 1 in 10 adults (13%) said they had self-isolated, which remains the same as last week. For those aged 70 years and over, 30% said they had self-isolated, while for those with an underlying health condition (all ages) it was 22%. Both represent a slightly higher proportion than reported last week (28% and 19% respectively).

Just over 1 in 10 adults (11%) were in households where everyone had self-isolated over the past seven days, which is similar to last week (10%).

Social distancing

In previous weeks, nearly all adults said they had tried to stay at least two metres away from others when outside their home. This week, when asked how often they had been able to stay two metres apart, nearly 2 in 3 adults (65%) said “always” with a further 29% saying “often”.

Shielding older or vulnerable people from the risk of infection is also an important element of the advice. Again, a consistently high proportion of adults said they are avoiding contact with older or vulnerable adults; this week it is 85% of adults. Among these, just over 1 in 10 (11%) said the people they are avoiding are those to whom they provide care.

More about coronavirus

  • Find the latest on coronavirus (COVID-19) in the UK.
  • All ONS analysis, summarised in our coronavirus roundup.
  • View all coronavirus data.
  • Find out how we are working safely in our studies and surveys.

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    4. Actions undertaken to prevent the spread of the coronavirus at work

    Over 4 in 10 adults (41%) said the coronavirus (COVID-19) was having an impact on their work, which is the same as last week. Of these, the most common impacts this week were:

    • being furloughed
    • being asked to work from home
    • finding working from home difficult

    The proportion of adults in employment in Great Britain that said they had worked from home at some point this week (41%) has not changed when compared with last week and location of work has remained largely unchanged over the last four weeks. Just under 4 in 10 adults in employment (37%) said they had left their home to travel to and from work in the past seven days compared with 40% last week.

    This week, of the adults who had reported the coronavirus (COVID-19) was having an impact on their work, almost 1 in 5 (17%) said they were concerned about their health and safety at work, which has increased from 14% last week.

    Of those people who travelled to work in the past seven days, almost half (46%) did work that required direct physical contact with other people. Over 6 in 10 (63%) workers in this group reported either often or always wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) while at work, but over 1 in 5 (22%) reported never wearing PPE.

    Of those whose work did not require having direct physical contact with other people, 49% reported they had always stayed at least two metres away from others in the workplace, and an additional 36% said they had managed to do this “often”. Of those whose work did not require direct physical contact with others, 4 in 10 (40%) had however reported they had either often or always worn PPE at work in the past seven days.

    More detailed information on changes to labour market participation can be found in Coronavirus and the latest indicators for the UK economy and society: 28 May 2020.

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    5. Homeschooling and back to school

    Almost 3 in 4 adults (74%) with dependent children said their children had been homeschooled this week. This is an increase when compared with last week (65%), although levels of homeschooling may have been impacted last week by half term falling during the reference week (28 to 31 May).

    For children that had been homeschooled, they spent on average 14 hours learning this week, with the most common resources used being:

    • devices provided by parents (such as laptops and tablets; 74%)

    • school-provided digital resources accessed through online learning platforms (for example, pre-recorded lessons, assignments, e-workbooks; 67%)

    • school- provided digital online learning resources (59%)

    However, more than 4 in 10 adults (42%) with dependent children said their children were struggling to continue their education. Lack of motivation, limited parent or carer time to support and lack of guidance and support were the most common reasons for children to be struggling.

    In England, some children are now able to return to school. Over half (51%) of adults in England with dependent children who said this applied to them, said they felt either very or quite unconfident in sending their child or children back to school in June, and 52% said they were either very or quite unlikely to send their children back to school this month.

    For those parents to whom it applied, 63% said that reassurance that their school was fully prepared would make them feel more confident to send their child or children back to school, and 57% said a vaccine available for the coronavirus (COVID-19) would also give them more confidence.

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    6. Indicators of concern, well-being and loneliness

    Over two-thirds of adults (68%) said they were very or somewhat worried about the effect that the coronavirus (COVID-19) was having on their life now. This is similar to last week (69%) and is the third week it has remained stable.

    The most common impact continues to be a lack of freedom and independence with over 6 in 10 adults (63%) reporting this. Other common issues were an inability to make plans and personal travel plans being affected (both 51%).

    More than 4 in 10 adults (42%) said their well-being was affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) in the past seven days, a slight decrease from 44% last week. The proportion of those aged 70 years and over who reported their well-being had been affected (32%) continued to be lower than the general population, however, for those with an underlying health condition it was higher at 56%.

    The most common issue affecting well-being continues to be feeling worried about the future (69%), followed by feeling stressed or anxious (63%), and feeling bored (50%).

    Through the weeks of lockdown, of the four measures of personal well-being, falling anxiety levels have seen the largest change over the period. However, happiness has also increased over time with an average rating of 7.1 this week, compared with a low of 6.3 at the beginning of the lockdown period. As a point of reference, the average happiness rating of people in the UK in Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec) 2019 (pre-COVID-19) was 7.5, although it should be noted that these figures come from different surveys.

    A more detailed analysis providing insights into coronavirus and anxiety will be published on 15 June 2020.

    Feelings of community continue to be high as stay at home restrictions begin to ease across Great Britain. Almost three-quarters of adults (73%) said other local community members would support them if they needed help during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. In addition, over 8 in 10 adults (81%) said they thought people were doing more to help others since the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

    Expectations for unity, kindness and equality in Great Britain after recovery from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic are similar to previous weeks.

    The largest expected change is around kindness. Almost half of adults (48%) believed that Great Britain was somewhat or very kind before the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and a larger proportion of almost 7 in 10 (67%) said that Great Britain would be kinder once we have recovered from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

    Similarly, one-quarter (25%) of adults believed that Great Britain was very or somewhat united before the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. However, just over 4 in 10 (42%) adults said they thought that Great Britain would be united once we have recovered from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

    There was a smaller change in expectations for equality in Great Britain. Just over 1 in 5 adults (21%) felt that Great Britain was somewhat or very equal before the pandemic, with the proportion feeling that Great Britain would be equal after recovery from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic rising to 23%.

    This week around 2 in 10 adults (21%) reported feeling lonely either often or always, or some of the time, a decrease when compared with last week (25%). A more in-depth look at loneliness in Great Britain during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is available.

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    7. Coronavirus and the social impacts on Great Britain data

    Coronavirus and the social impacts on Great Britain
    Dataset | Released on 29 May 2020
    New indicators from the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey (OPN) to understand the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on people, households and communities in Great Britain. Includes breakdowns by at-risk age, sex and underlying health condition.

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    8. Glossary

    Underlying health condition

    In this bulletin, adults with an underlying health condition include those with:

    • Alzheimer's disease or dementia
    • angina or long-term heart problem
    • asthma
    • a learning disability such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or Asperger's (Asperger syndrome)
    • conditions affecting the brain and nerves, such as Parkinson's disease
    • cancer
    • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or long-term lung problem
    • diabetes
    • kidney or liver disease
    • a weakened immune system such as the result of conditions as HIV and AIDS, or medicines such as steroid tablets or treatment for cancer
    • problems with your spleen – for example, sickle cell disease, or if you have had your spleen removed
    • being overweight (having a BMI of 40 or above)
    • given an organ transplant
    • stroke or cerebral haemorrhage or cerebral thrombosis
    • rheumatoid arthritis

    In employment

    For this survey, a person is said to be "in employment" if they had a paid job, either as an employee or self-employed; they did any casual work for payment; or they did any unpaid or voluntary work in the previous week.

    Dependent children

    A dependent child is defined as someone who is under the age of 16 years or someone who is aged 16 to 18 years, has never been married and is in full-time education.

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    9. Measuring the data

    The Opinions and Lifestyle Survey (OPN) is a monthly omnibus survey. In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we have adapted the OPN to become a weekly survey used to collect data on the impact of the coronavirus on day-to-day life in Great Britain. In this wave, 2,500 individuals were sampled, with a response rate of 77% (or 1,914 individuals) for the survey conducted from 4 June to 7 June 2020.

    The survey results are weighted to be a nationally representative sample for Great Britain, and data are collected using an online self-completion questionnaire. Individuals who did not want to or were unable to complete the survey online had the opportunity to take part over the phone.

    Where changes in results from previous weeks or differences between groups are presented in this bulletin, associated confidence intervals, which are included in the associated datasets, indicate their significance.

    More quality and methodology information on strengths, limitations, appropriate uses, and how the data were created is available in the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey (OPN) QMI.

    Sampling

    A sample of 2,500 households were randomly selected from the European Health Interview Survey. From each household, one adult was selected at random but with unequal probability. Younger people were given higher selection probability than older people because of under-representation in the sample available for the survey. Further information on the sample design can be found in the OPN QMI.

    Weighting

    The responding sample contained 1,914 individuals (77 % response rate). Survey weights were applied to make estimates representative of the population.

    Weights were first adjusted for non-response and attrition. Subsequently, the weights were calibrated to satisfy population distributions considering the following factors: sex by age, region, tenure, and highest qualification, employment status, National Statistics Socio-economic Classification (NS-SEC) group and smoking status. For age, sex and region, population totals based on projections of mid-year population estimates for June 2020 were used. The resulting weighted sample is therefore representative of the Great Britain adult population by a number of socio-demographic factors and geography.

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    10. Strengths and limitations

    The main strengths of the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey (OPN) include:

    • it allows for timely production of data and statistics that can respond quickly to changing needs

    • it meets data needs: the questionnaire is developed with customer consultation, and design expertise is applied in the development stages

    • robust methods are adopted for the survey's sampling and weighting strategies to limit the impact of bias

    • quality assurance procedures are undertaken throughout the analysis stages to minimise the risk of error

    The main limitations of the OPN include:

    • the sample size is relatively small: 2,500 individuals per week with fewer completed interviews, meaning that detailed analyses for subnational geographies and other sub-groups are not possible

    • comparisons between periods and groups must be done with caution as estimates are provided from a sample survey; as such, confidence intervals are included in the datasets to present the sampling variability, which should be taken into account when assessing differences between periods, as true differences may not exist

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    Manylion cyswllt ar gyfer y Bwletin ystadegol

    Ruth Davies
    policy.evidence.analysis@ons.gov.uk
    Ffôn: +44 (0)1633 651827