Coronavirus and the social impacts on Great Britain: 19 June 2020

Indicators from the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey covering the period 11 June to 14 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:
19 June 2020

Cyhoeddiad nesaf:
26 June 2020

1. Main points

  • Over 9 in 10 adults (92%) in Great Britain have left their home this week – the same proportion as last week; and of these, almost 1 in 5 (18%) said they had visited somewhere that was crowded.

  • Of those adults who said they were in employment, almost 8 in 10 (79%) said they had worked this week, either by working at home or travelling to work, an increase from 7 in 10 (70%) last week.

  • A greater proportion of those who had worked in the past seven days did so from home, with 49% saying they had either exclusively worked from home or had worked from home alongside travelling to work; an increase from 41% last week.

  • 4 in 10 adults (40%) reported that they had used face coverings outside of their home in the past week, an increase on last week (30%).

  • Of those adults who had used public transport in the past seven days, 62% had worn a face covering when travelling on public transport – an increase from 45% last week.

  • Just over 1 in 5 (21%) adults with children of school age reported that they had been asked to send their children back to school. Two-thirds (67%) of these said that their children were now attending school some or all of the time."

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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' (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 11 and 14 June 2020 (inclusive). Results this week are based on 1,896 responding adults (76% 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 11 to 14 June 2020 and "last week" refers to those collected during the period 4 to 7 June 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 (92%) 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. 92% of adults in England and Scotland had left their homes this week, while 87% 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.

The largest increase in reasons for leaving the home this week is travelling to work up to 29% compared with 26% last week. There are new response categories for this question this week, which reflects the change in guidance and the easing of the stay at home measures across Great Britain:

  • 6% of adults reported they had been shopping for non-essential items such as clothes and furniture

  • 5% reported they had visited an outdoor beauty spot or beach

  • And a further 5% had taken part in outdoor leisure activities such as tennis, golf and angling

It should be noted that at the time of the survey, guidance on staying at home varied across England, Wales and Scotland. Full country breakdowns for reasons people left home are available in the associated datasets.

Almost 9 in 10 (88%) adults said their home had a garden, and 89% 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, almost one-third (32%) said they had done so with friends or family members from outside of their household – down from 41% last week. A more in-depth analysis looking at groups that are most likely to have access to a private garden is available.

Just under half of adults (45%) in Great Britain said they had visited a park or public green space this week, a decrease from 53% 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:

  • almost half of adults (47%) 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 (37%) had visited a park or public green space, with 56% of these saying they had met with others

  • in Wales, just over 3 in 10 adults (32%) had visited a park or public green space, with 31% 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.

Of those adults who had left their homes this week, almost 1 in 5 (18%) had visited somewhere that was crowded.

Feeling safe outside the home

Across Great Britain, feelings of safety outside the home have remained the same this week after decreasing last week. Almost 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.

As was the case last week, feelings of safety varied across the three countries of Great Britain:

  • 38% of adults in England felt safe or very safe outside of their home this week

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

  • 23% of adults in Wales felt safe or very safe outside of their home

Women and all adults with an underlying health condition are least likely to report feeling safe or very safe when outside of their homes with just over a quarter reporting to feel this way (26%). 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).

Over 4 in 10 adults in Great Britain (44%) said they felt they had enough information about government plans for easing restrictions because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The same proportion of adults in England and Scotland felt this way (44%), while 30% of adults in Wales 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:

  • 1 in 5 (20%) of adults living in England strongly supported the easing of the stay at home measures in England

  • One-quarter (25%) of adults in Wales strongly supported the easing of restrictions in Wales

  • 1 in 3 (30%) adults in Scotland strongly supported the easing of restrictions in Scotland

Face coverings

In the past seven days, 4 in 10 adults (40%) have worn a face covering outside of their homes to slow the spread of COVID-19, an increase compared with last week (30%). Adults with a health condition were most likely to report wearing a face covering when outside of their home this week (49%), followed by those aged 70 years and over (46%). 41% of women reported that they had worn face coverings in the past seven days compared with 36% last week. For men, 38% reported wearing a face covering this week, an increase from 23% last week.

For those that had worn a face covering, the most common situation was while shopping (77%), followed by running errands (30%) and while at work (20%).

Regardless of whether they had worn a face covering in the past, over half of adults (51%) said they were either very or fairly likely to wear one in the next seven days. This has increased from 40% of adults last week, and 36% the week before.

Of those adults who had used public transport in the past seven days, 62% had worn a face covering while travelling on public transport – an increase from 45% last week.

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, over 1 in 8 adults (15%) said they had self-isolated, which has risen slightly compared with last week (13%). For those aged 70 years and over, 29% said they had self-isolated – similar to 30% last week; while one-quarter (25%) of adults with an underlying health condition had self-isolated – an increase on last week (22%).

Over 1 in 10 adults (13%) were in households where everyone had self-isolated over the past seven days, compared with 11% last week.

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, more than 6 in 10 adults (63%) said "always" with a further 32% saying "often" – similar proportions to last week.

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 84% of adults. Among these, 1 in 10 (10%) said the people they are avoiding are those to whom they provide care – again, similar to last week. A detailed analysis of the social impacts the COVID-19 pandemic has had on older people, will be published on Monday 22 June 2020.

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

    Just over 4 in 10 adults (41%) said the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic was having an impact on their work, which is the same as last week. The most common impacts reported were:

    • being furloughed

    • decrease in hours worked

    • asked to work from home

    Of those adults who said they were in employment, almost 8 in 10 (79%) said they had worked this week, either by working at home or travelling to work, an increase from 7 in 10 (70%) last week. This is in part driven by a reduction in those saying they were furloughed and is in line with results from the Business Impact of Coronavirus Survey which showed 5% of the workforce had returned from furlough leave between 18 May and 14 June.

    A greater proportion of those who had worked in the past seven days did so from home, with 49% saying they had either exclusively worked from home or alongside travelling to work; an increase from 41% last week.

    Official estimates of labour market participation can be found in the Labour market overview.

    Of those who had worked from home this week, over half (57%) reported that this was because their employer had asked them to do so, 48% said that they were following government advice to work from home, and 38% reported that they were working from home due to their workplace being closed.

    This week, of the adults who had reported the COVID-19 pandemic was having an impact on their work, more than 1 in 8 (15%) said they were concerned about their health and safety at work, which has decreased from 17% last week.

    Of those people who travelled to work in the past seven days, more than 4 in 10 (42%) did work that required direct physical contact with other people. Over 4 in 10 (45%) workers in this group reported either often or always wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) while at work, but almost 3 in 10 (29%) reported never wearing PPE.

    Of those whose work did not require having direct physical contact with other people, 46% 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, almost half (47%) had however reported they had either often or always worn PPE at work in the past seven days – a higher proportion than those who did have direct physical contact with others.

    More detailed information on changes to labour market participation can be found in Coronavirus and the latest indicators for the UK economy and society: 18 June 2020.

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    5. Homeschooling and back to school

    For children that had been homeschooled this week, they spent on average 13 hours learning, with the most common resources used being:

    • school-provided digital resources accessed through online learning platforms (for example, pre-recorded lessons, assignments, e-workbooks; 85%)

    • devices provided by parents (such as laptops and tablets; 80%)

    • school-provided digital online learning resources (for example, BBC Bitesize, YouTube; 64%)

    However, almost 6 in 10 adults (59%) who have homeschooled their children this week said their children were struggling to continue their education at home. 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. A detailed analysis of the social impacts the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has had on younger people, will be published Monday 22 June.

    In England, some children are now able to return to school.

    Just over 1 in 5 (21%) adults with children of school age reported that they had been asked to send their children back to school, with two-thirds of (67%) these saying that their children were now attending school some or all of the time.

    Of those who have been asked to send their children back to school but have taken the decision not to, almost 7 in 10 (68%) said this was because they were not comfortable with how prepared their school or college was for keeping pupils safe, and over 6 in 10 (64%) had not sent their children back to school or college as they were worried about them catching COVID-19 there.

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    6. Indicators of concern, well-being and loneliness

    Almost two-thirds of adults (64%) said they were very or somewhat worried about the effect that the coronavirus (COVID-19) was having on their life now. This has decreased when compared with last week (68%) after remaining stable over the previous three weeks.

    The most common impact continues to be a lack of freedom and independence with almost 6 in 10 adults (56%) reporting this. Other common issues were an inability to make plans (52%) and personal travel plans being affected (50%).

    Almost half of adults (48%) said their well-being was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in the past seven days, an increase from 42% last week. The proportion of those aged 70 years and over who reported their well-being had been affected (34%) continued to be lower than the general population, however, for those with an underlying health condition it was higher at 60% – an increase from 56% last week.

    The most common issues affecting well-being continue to be feeling worried about the future and feeling stressed or anxious (62%), followed by feeling bored (57%).

    Through the weeks of lockdown, of the four measures of personal well-being, falling anxiety levels have seen the largest change over the period, falling again this week to an average score of 3.8 out of 10. As a point of reference, the average anxiety rating of people in the UK in Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec) 2019 (pre-COVID-19) was 2.97, although it should be noted that these figures come from different surveys. An analysis focused on personal and economic well-being throughout the lockdown period, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on people and households in Great Britain is available in Personal and economic well-being in Great Britain: June 2020.

    The proportion of adults reporting high anxiety has fallen from 32% last week, to 30% this week. Adults with underlying health conditions have seen the largest decrease with 3 in 10 adults (30%) reporting high levels of anxiety this week compared with 39% last week.

    A detailed analysis providing insights into coronavirus and anxiety was published on 15 June 2020. This showed that the characteristics most strongly associated with high levels of anxiety during the coronavirus pandemic include feeling lonely all or some of the time; being a woman and being married or in a civil partnership. Feeling lonely was the factor most strongly associated with reporting high anxiety – people who "often or always" felt lonely were almost five times more likely to report high anxiety than those who “never” feel lonely.

    This week around just over one-quarter of adults (26%) reported feeling lonely either often or always, or some of the time, an increase when compared with last week (21%). 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 19 June 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 76% (or 1,896 individuals) for the survey conducted from 11 June to 14 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 1,896 individuals (76% 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