Coronavirus and the social impacts on Great Britain: 21 August 2020

Indicators from the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey covering the period 12 to 16 August 2020 to understand the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on people, households and communities in Great Britain.

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Cyswllt:
Email Ruth Davies

Dyddiad y datganiad:
21 August 2020

Cyhoeddiad nesaf:
4 September 2020

1. Main points

  • This week, 93% of adults said they had heard about the Eat Out to Help Out scheme; more than 1 in 10 (11%) adults said they had already eaten out and received the discount, and a further 41% said they were very likely or likely to make use of this scheme during August.

  • This week, 44% of adults in Great Britain had formed a “support bubble” with another household, an increase from 26% of adults in England and Scotland during the period 2 to 5 July 2020 (Wales did not have “support bubbles” at this time).

  • More than two in five (41%) adults reported that the coronavirus (COVID-19) was affecting their well-being this week; of these adults, 15% reported that they were worried about a possible job loss and 1 in 10 (10%) reported they were worried about returning to work – both similar to last week.

  • Nearly 7 in 10 (69%) adults reported that they think the police should be very strict or strict in enforcing rules to help reduce the spread of COVID-19; however, only 15% of adults think police are very strict or strict in enforcing these rules.

  • Less than 1 in 10 (8%) adults said they were likely or very likely to travel abroad on holiday if they had to self-isolate at home for two weeks upon their return to the UK.

  • Of those with children of school age next term, approximately 9 in 10 (90%) adults said it was very likely or fairly likely that the children or young people in their household will return to school or college when school reopens to them in the new term.

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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') 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 in Great Britain conducted between 12 and 16 August 2020 (inclusive). Results from this week are based on 1,533 responding adults (61% 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 Section 9: Glossary.

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 are presented in this bulletin, associated confidence intervals should be used to assess the statistical significance of the change.

Throughout this bulletin, “this week” refers to the period 12 to 16 August 2020 and “last week” refers to the period 5 to 9 August 2020.

There will be no publication of this release on 28 August, but the bulletin will return on 4 September.

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3. Leaving home

Of adults in Great Britain, more than 9 in 10 (94%) said they had left their home for any reason in the past seven days, a similar percentage to last week (95%). However, 49% of adults reported that they felt either very comfortable or comfortable about leaving home because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Each week, we ask people the reasons why they had left their homes. Some of the reasons people list are looked at in more detail in this section.

!

Official guidance varies across England, Wales and Scotland. This section gives the reasons people are leaving their home, but an estimate of compliance is not provided.

Eating out and leisure

As lockdown restrictions are gradually lifted, respondents were asked how comfortable they would feel to participate in a variety of leisure activities, including eating in restaurants.

From the start of July, we have seen more people say they would feel comfortable or very comfortable to eat indoors at a restaurant. This week, more than two in five (43%) adults said they would feel comfortable or very comfortable to eat indoors at a restaurant, compared to 40% last week. Of those people who had left their homes this week, more than one in three (34%) said they had visited a pub, restaurant or café, an increase from 1 in 10 (10%) five weeks ago (period covering 8 to 12 July 2020). Cafés, pubs and restaurants reopened indoors in England from 4 July, in Scotland from 15 July and in Wales from 3 August.

The government recently introduced the Eat Out to Help Out scheme from 3 to 31 August. Through the scheme, some restaurants, cafés, bars and pubs are offering a 50% discount on food and/or non-alcoholic drinks to eat or drink in (up to a maximum of £10 discount per diner) from Monday to Wednesday during August.

This week, 93% of adults said they had heard about this scheme. More than 1 in 10 (11%) adults said they had already eaten out and received the discount, and a further 41% said they were very likely or likely to make use of this scheme during August. Of those who said they were unlikely or very unlikely to use the scheme, 51% said they were worried about catching COVID-19.

This week, 16% of adults reported they would feel comfortable or very comfortable visiting an indoor swimming pool or water park compared with 14% last week. Outdoor pools were able to reopen in England from 11 July, followed by indoor gyms and pools on 25 July and in Wales from 10 August. Pools and gyms were not open in Scotland at the time of the survey.

More than one in five (23%) adults reported that they would feel comfortable or very comfortable attending an indoor concert with a socially distanced audience. This is a similar proportion to last week (21%).

Approximately one in six (16%) adults that had left their home in the past seven days participated in leisure activities, which is a small increase from 13% last week and an increase from 8% six weeks ago (period covering 2 to 5 July 2020).

Support bubbles and extended households

“Support bubbles” in England, or “extended households” in Scotland and Wales, is where your household can choose to join together with one other household to provide support and help avoid loneliness. We refer to both as “support bubbles” here. All those in a “support bubble” are able to spend time together inside each other’s homes, including overnight, without needing to stay socially distanced. “Support bubbles” were introduced in England on 13 June, Scotland on 19 June and Wales on 6 July, and the guidance has been broadened since then.

This week, 44% of adults in Great Britain had formed a “support bubble” with another household, an increase from 26% of adults in England and Scotland during the period 2 to 5 July 2020 (Wales did not have “support bubbles” at this time). Even though more households are forming a “support bubble”, they were less likely to visit these other households. Of those adults in a “support bubble”, 75% reported either visiting or being visited by other households at least once in the past seven days, a decrease from 90% of adults in England and Scotland during the period 2 to 5 July 2020.

This week, respondents were asked about the maximum number of other households they have socialised with, excluding households that are part of their “support bubble”. Over two in five (43%) adults reported that they had not visited any other households indoors, while an additional 38% reported socialising indoors with a maximum of one other household, and a further 17% reported socialising with more than one other household.

Respondents were also asked about the maximum number of people from outside their household they have socialised with, excluding people who are part of their “support bubble”. Over one in four (28%) adults reported that they had not met with any people from outside their household. An additional 60% reported they have met with up to a maximum number of five people from outside their household.

Working

This week, approximately two in five (41%) adults reported that the coronavirus pandemic was affecting their well-being; of these adults, 15% reported that they were worried about a possible job loss and 1 in 10 (10%) reported they were worried about returning to work – both similar to last week (18% and 11% respectively).

Of all working adults, 78% said they had either worked at home or travelled to work this week – the same percentage as last week. Over half (55%) of working adults reported they had travelled to work in the past seven days, either exclusively or alongside working from home. More than one in five (22%) had worked exclusively at home.

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

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. Face coverings

    More than 9 in 10 (95%) adults who had left their homes said they had worn a face covering to slow the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) at least once in the past seven days – a similar percentage (96%) to last week.

    The proportion of people who reported they had worn a face covering outside of their home at least once in the past week varied between Scotland (95%), England (96%) and Wales (72%), although all three countries have seen an increase in the reporting of face coverings being worn over the past five weeks. Face coverings are mandatory on public transport and in shops in England and Scotland but only on public transport in Wales.

    At the time of the survey, it was mandatory to wear face coverings while shopping in Scotland and England. In Scotland and England, 95% and 93% respectively had worn face coverings when shopping in the last seven days, while 78% had done so in Wales (where it is not mandatory to wear them).

    It became mandatory to wear face coverings on public transport in England on 15 June, in Scotland on 22 June and in Wales on 27 July. Of those adults in Great Britain who had used public transport in the past seven days, 92% reported they had worn a face covering while doing so.

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    5. Enforcement of rules and targeted lockdown measures

    This week, approximately 7 in 10 (69%) adults reported that they think the police should be very strict or strict in enforcing rules to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), for example, rules on social distancing, lockdown measures and wearing face coverings. However, only 15% of adults think police are very strict or strict in enforcing these rules. In comparison, for those aged 70 years and over, 80% reported that police should be very strict or strict in enforcing rules to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, whereas only 23% think police are very strict or strict in enforcing these rules.

    We also asked adults whether they supported the targeted lockdown measures for local areas affected by COVID-19 outbreaks, and more than half (55%) of all adults reported that they strongly supported these measures. Those aged 70 years or over (70%) were most likely to strongly support local lockdown measures, followed by people living in Wales (62%) and Scotland (61%).

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    6. Holidays

    This week, 27% of adults said they were either likely or very likely to go on holiday in the UK this summer, and 6% said they were likely or very likely to go on holiday abroad. These are similar proportions to last week (28% and 9% respectively).

    We also asked adults whether their household could afford to take a week’s holiday away from home this year – more than half (57%) of adults said they could, while approximately one in three (34%) said that their household would not be able to afford this.

    The government continues to review which countries you can travel to without having to self-isolate on your return. At the time of this survey, it was announced that people returning from France would have to self-isolate on their return. Less than 1 in 10 (8%) adults said they were likely or very likely to travel with the knowledge that they would have to self-isolate for 14 days; however, 63% of respondents said they were very unlikely to travel if this were the case. These are similar proportions to last week.

    We also asked all adults how the possibility of having to self-isolate for 14 days upon returning home from holidays abroad had affected their travel plans. Of all adults, less than one in five (18%) reported that they had cancelled their travel plans and 14% said they had decided to holiday in the UK instead of travelling abroad this year.

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    7. Return to school

    At the time of this survey, Scotland’s schools began to reopen from 11 August. Adults were asked a series of questions around children and young people in their household returning to school or college. Of those with children of school age next term and had not already returned, approximately 9 in 10 (90%) adults said it was very likely or fairly likely that the children or young people in their household will return to school or college when school reopens to them in the new term. At the end of term, during the period 15 to 19 July, a similar proportion (89%) was reported; this has remained consistent over the period.

    Nearly three in five (58%) adults with children of school age in the next term reported that they were very worried or somewhat worried about the children or young people in their household returning to school or college as the new term begins. A similar proportion (62%) was reported at the end of term, during the period 15 to 19 July. The main concern reported by adults with children of school age in the next term was that they were worried about them catching the coronavirus (COVID-19) at school or college.

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    8. Coronavirus and the social impacts on Great Britain data

    Coronavirus and the social impacts on Great Britain
    Dataset | Released 21 August 2020
    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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    9. Glossary

    Underlying health condition

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

    • Alzheimer's disease or dementia
    • angina or a 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 a 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)
    • an organ transplant
    • stroke or cerebral haemorrhage or cerebral thrombosis
    • rheumatoid arthritis

    Working adults

    For this survey, a person is said to be a “working adult” if:

    • they had a paid job, either as an employee or self-employed
    • they did any casual work for payment
    • they did any unpaid or voluntary work in the previous week
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    10. 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 61% (or 1,533 individuals) for the survey conducted from 12 to 16 August 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 OPN QMI.

    Sampling

    A sample of 2,500 households was randomly selected from those that had previously completed the Living Costs and Food Survey (LCF). 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 1,533 individuals (61% 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, highest qualification, employment status and National Statistics Socio-economic Classification (NS-SEC) group. For age, sex and region, population totals based on projections of mid-year population estimates for August 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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    11. 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