Coronavirus and the social impacts on Great Britain: 28 May 2021

Indicators from the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey covering the period 19 to 23 May 2021 to understand the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on people, households and communities in Great Britain.

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Cyswllt:
Email Tim Vizard, Bonnie Lewis, David Ainslie and Rhian Murphy,

Dyddiad y datganiad:
28 May 2021

Cyhoeddiad nesaf:
11 June 2021

1. Main points

This week, over the period 19 to 23 May 2021, based on adults in Great Britain:

  • Compliance with measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) such as handwashing when returning home from a public place (87% this week and last week) or using a face covering when outside the home (97% this week and last week) continued to remain high.

  • Almost three-quarters (74%) of adults reported maintaining social distancing with people outside their household; this continued a general decrease in this proportion since early April (7 to 11 April 2021) when 88% of adults reported this before the easing of lockdown restrictions in England from 12 April 2021.

  • As indoors hospitality venues opened across the majority of Great Britain (step 3 of the easing of lockdown restrictions in England) from 17 May 2021, of adults who reported they left home in the last seven days, 17% did so to eat or drink indoors at a restaurant, café, bar or pub; 1 in 10 (10%) did so to visit an indoor gym or swimming pool and 1 in 100 (1%) did so to visit a cinema or theatre.

  • The proportion of adults meeting up indoors with someone not in their household, childcare or support bubble in the last seven days almost doubled (39% this week, 20% last week) as restrictions around this eased across Great Britain (step 3 of lockdown easing in England) from 17 May 2021.

  • Personal well-being levels remained relatively stable, with anxiety (3.9) unchanged from last week; levels of life satisfaction (7.1 from 7.0 last week), feeling that things done in life are worthwhile (7.4 from 7.3 last week) and happiness (7.1 from 7.0 last week) increased slightly.

  • Positive sentiment towards the COVID-19 vaccine remained high; 95% of adults reported they had now either received a vaccine or would be likely to have a vaccine if offered (94% last week).

  • Almost three-quarters (74%) of adults reported to have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine (71% last week), which includes around 45% of adults reporting to have received their second dose (39% last week).

Between 7 January and 14 March 2021 we asked adults in Great Britain about their awareness to any new travel requirements to the EU following the end of the EU transition period. We found that:

  • just over 6 in 10 (61%) adults said they were aware of changes to passport validity

  • just under 6 in 10 (58%) adults reported awareness of the need to get health insurance as a new requirement; this increased with age from 36% for 16- to 29- year olds to 73% for 70 years and over

  • under a quarter of adults (23%) said that they were not aware of any of the requirements listed, which was higher for younger age groups: 35% for 16- to 29- year olds; 25% for 30- to 49- year olds and 17% for both 50- to 69- year olds and 70 years and over.

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The latest week’s estimates presented in this release are based on data collected after the further easing of lockdown restrictions that were introduced across Great Britain from 17 May 2021. For some estimates, respondents are asked to consider the past seven days and so estimates may cover a period prior to these most recent easings.

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2. Main indicators

This week’s update provides the first data since the further easing of restrictions across England (step 3 of the easing of lockdown restrictions), Wales and most of Scotland from 17 May 2021 that relaxed some restrictions on meeting up indoors and allowed for the re-opening of indoor hospitality.

Throughout this update:

  • “this week” refers to responses collected during the period 19 to 23 May 2021

  • “last week” refers to responses collected during the period 12 to 16 May 2021

Compliance with measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19

Compliance with measures to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) remained high despite small decreases for some indicators this week:

  • almost three-quarters (74%) of adults reported maintaining social distancing with people outside their household, childcare and support bubble, compared with 78% last week, continuing a general decrease since 88% of adults reported this in early April (the period 7 to 11 April 2021) before step 2 of the easing of lockdown restrictions in England

  • over three-quarters (77%) of adults reported avoiding physical contact when outside their home in the last seven days, a decrease from 81% last week and 85% in the period 7 to 11 April 2021

  • the proportion of adults using a face covering when outside their home (97% this week and last week) or always or often handwashing when returning home from a public place (87% this week and last week) continued to remain stable

Meeting up indoors and outdoors

Following the easing of restrictions across Great Britain from 17 May 2021 (step 3 of the easing of lockdown restrictions in England), the proportion of adults who met indoors with someone not in their household, childcare or support bubble in the last seven days increased to almost 4 in 10 (39%) this week, almost double the proportion last week (20%).

A slightly smaller proportion of adults met up outdoors with someone not in their household, childcare or support bubble in the last seven days this week (51%) compared with last week (53%) (Figure 1).

Figure 1: Almost 4 in 10 (39%) adults met up indoors with someone outside their household, childcare or support bubble in the last seven days

Adults in Great Britain, January to May 2021

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Notes:

  1. Question: "Excluding work or education, in the past seven days, have you met up or socialised with anyone from outside your household, support or childcare bubble?".
  2. Base: all adults.
  3. Questions asked about meeting indoors and outdoors changed from the period 17 to 21 March onwards so interpretation of this time series should be made with caution. For more information please see the datasets associated with this bulletin.

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Travel to work

The proportion of working adults travelling to work at some point in the last seven days has generally increased since mid-February (44% in the period 10 to 14 February 2021) but remained relatively stable at 61% this week compared with 62% last week.

Table 1: Main indicators

Great Britain, up to 23 May 2021

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Notes:

  1. “Latest” refers to responses collected during the period 19 to 23 May 2021.
  2. Any breaks in the series shown are because of questions not being asked for this period.
  3. The axes for each timeline are not comparable and as such should be treated with caution when interpreting the extent of changes over time between each indicator.

Further statistics on compliance with measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus, including trends over time, can be found in Tables 1a to 6 of the Coronavirus and the social impacts on Great Britain dataset.

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3. Reasons for leaving home

As indoor hospitality venues opened across Great Britain from 17 May 2021, we found that amongst those who reported leaving home in the last seven days:

  • 17% reported eating or drinking indoors at a restaurant, café, bar or pub

  • 1 in 10 (10%) reported visiting an indoor gym or swimming pool

  • 1 in 100 (1%) reported visiting a cinema or theatre

Figure 2 shows some of the other reasons adults have reported for leaving home:

  • 25% did so to meet with their support bubble (22% last week)

  • 11% did so to visit a hair salon or barber (12% last week)

  • 26% did so to visit a park or local green space (25% last week)

  • 26% did so to shop for things other than food or medicine (26% last week)

  • 16% did so for any medical need, including to get a COVID-19 vaccine (15% last week)

  • 4% did so to travel within the UK for a holiday or short break (3% last week)

Figure 2: Amongst adults who reported to leave home in the last seven days, almost 1 in 20 (4%) did so to travel within the UK for holidays or short breaks

Of adults who reported they had left home in the last seven days for any reason, Great Britain, December 2020 to May 2021

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Notes:

  1. Question: "In the past seven days, for what reasons have you left your home?".
  2. Base: all adults who reported having in the last seven days left their home for any reason.
  3. 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.
  4. Where the time series line is incomplete on these charts, either this question category was not asked in the period or the proportion who reported it was less than 1%.

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4. Personal well-being

This week, personal well-being levels were relatively stable.

Level of anxiety (3.9) was unchanged from last week. Levels of life satisfaction (7.1 from 7.0 last week), feeling that things done in life are worthwhile (7.4 from 7.3 last week) and happiness (7.1 from 7.0 last week) increased slightly.

All measures are generally yet to recover to their pre-pandemic levels in February 2020 (Figure 3).

Figure 3: Measures of well-being remained relatively stable this week

Adults in Great Britain, March 2020 to May 2021

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Notes:

  1. Questions: "Overall, how satisfied are you with your life nowadays?", "Overall, to what extent do you feel that the things you do in your life are worthwhile?", "Overall, how happy did you feel yesterday?" and "Overall, how anxious did you feel yesterday?".
  2. These questions are answered on a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 is "not at all" and 10 is "completely".
  3. Base: all adults.

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Two further releases from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) this week consider Coronavirus and contributors to subnational well-being, January to March 2021 and Personal and economic well-being in Great Britain: May 2021.

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5. Attitudes to COVID-19 vaccination

This week, 95% of adults reported positive vaccine sentiment (94% last week). This included adults who had received at least one dose of a coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine, adults who said they would be very or fairly likely to have a vaccine if offered and adults who have been offered and are currently waiting to receive a vaccine.

Figure 4 shows how vaccination sentiment by age has changed since early December 2020:

  • over 8 in 10 (85%) people aged 16 to 29 years reported positive vaccine sentiment; this proportion has been between 85% and 90% in the last five weeks, higher than the 63% reported at the start of the vaccination programme in December 2020

  • over 9 in 10 (94%) people aged 30 to 49 years reported positive vaccine sentiment (92% last week); this proportion was 74% at the start of the vaccination programme in December 2020

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The estimates presented here are from a sample of adults, and may differ from the latest official administrative data on the number of adults in Great Britain and its constituent countries who have received a COVID-19 vaccination.

Figure 4: Over 9 in 10 (95%) adults have received or would be likely to accept a COVID-19 vaccine if offered

Adults in Great Britain, December 2020 to May 2021

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Notes:

  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. Questions asked about attitudes toward COVID-19 vaccination have changed over the survey periods shown so interpretation of this time series should be made with caution. For more information please see the datasets associated with this bulletin.
  4. Response categories of "Adults who have been offered and declined the vaccine or would be very or fairly unlikely to have the vaccine if offered", "Neither", "Don’t know" and "Prefer not to say" are not shown on this chart.
  5. For the periods 10 to 14 February and 12 to 16 May, the 99% indicated on the chart for those aged 70 years and over represent a proportion of greater than 99% but less than 100%.

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The 95% of adults in Great Britain this week who reported positive vaccine sentiment¹ is made up of those who reported that they either:

  • had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine at 74%, which includes over 4 in 10 (45%) adults having received a second dose

  • had been offered a vaccine and were awaiting their first dose (5%)

  • had not yet been offered a vaccine but were likely (very or fairly likely) to have one when offered (16%) (Figure 5)

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A similar proportion of adults reported to have received at least one dose is reported in the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey release. Our survey does not include adults living in care homes or other establishments, so will not capture vaccinations in these settings. Because of small sample sizes, the percentage of adults who have declined the vaccine should be treated with caution. For more information please see the Glossary.

Figure 5: Over 4 in 10 (45%) of all adults reported they had received the second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

Adults in Great Britain, 19 to 23 May 2021

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Notes:

  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 because proportions of less than 1% are not included in this chart.

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Further statistics on attitudes to vaccines and mass testing this week can be found in Table 11 of the Coronavirus and the social impacts on Great Britain dataset.

For more information on attitudes to COVID-19 vaccines among different sub-groups of the population, including breakdowns by age, sex, employment status, ethnic group and disability status, see:

Notes for: Attitudes to COVID-19 vaccination

  1. Totals for the combined category of "positive vaccine sentiment" or "vaccine hesitancy" may appear to be different than if combining the individual category estimates shown in Figure 4 because of rounding.
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6. Awareness of travel requirements following EU exit

On the 31 December 2020, the UK completed the transition to leaving the European Union (EU). Following the end of this period, from 7 January to 14 March 2021, we asked adults in Great Britain to tell us of any new EU travel requirements that they are aware of.

When asked about new EU travel requirements, just over 6 in 10 (61%) adults said they were aware of changes to passport validity, which was the most commonly reported requirement.

Just under 6 in 10 (58%) adults reported the need to get health insurance as a new requirement. This increased with age: 36% for 16- to 29- year olds, 53% for 30- to 49- year olds, 69% for 50- to 69- year olds and 73% for 70 years and over (Figure 6).

Under a quarter adults (23%) said that they were not aware of any of the requirements listed, which was higher for younger age groups: 35% for 16- to 29- year olds; 25% for 30- to 49- year olds and 17% for both 50- to 69- year olds and 70 years and over.

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7. Social impacts on Great Britain data

Coronavirus and the social impacts on Great Britain
Dataset | Released 28 May 2021
Indicators from the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey 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.

EU exit and the awareness of new travel requirements
Dataset | Released 28 May 2021
Data from the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey to understand people's awareness of new EU travel requirements following the EU exit. Includes breakdowns by age.

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8. Measuring the data

This release contains data and indicators from a 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.

Breakdowns by age, sex, region and country, including confidence intervals for the estimates, are contained in the Coronavirus and the social impacts on Great Britain dataset.

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 differences.

Positive vaccine sentiment

“Positive vaccine sentiment” refers to adults who:

  • have received the vaccine

  • have been offered the vaccine and waiting to be vaccinated

  • report being very or fairly likely to have the vaccine if offered

Our survey does not include adults living in care homes or other establishments so will not capture vaccinations in these settings. Because of small sample sizes, the percentage of adults who have declined the vaccine should be treated with caution.

Estimates of attitudes towards vaccination provided since 13 to 17 January 2021 should be used with caution when compared with any weeks prior to this. In the weeks prior to this, adults were asked their likelihood of having a vaccine if offered, but were not specifically asked if they had already been offered or received a vaccine.

EU exit transition period

The EU exit transition is the period agreed in the UK-EU Withdrawal Agreement in which the UK is no longer a member of the EU but continues to be subject to EU rules and remains a member of the single market and customs union. When the UK left the EU on 31 January 2020, it entered the transition period. The transition period came to an end on 31 December 2020.

Sampling and weighting

This week

In the week 19 to 23 May 2021, a sample of 6,010 households was randomly selected from those that had previously completed the Labour Market Survey (LMS).

The responding sample contained 3,072 individuals, representing a 51% response rate. The response rate achieved this week is lower than previous weeks because of a technical issue with data collection this week.

Survey weights were applied to make estimates representative of the population (based on May 2021 population estimates).

EU exit

The data used for the analysis of attitudes to EU exit were based on data collected over the period 7 January to 14 March 2021. The pooled data comprise six waves of data collection covering the following periods: 7 to 10 January, 13 to 17 January, 20 to 24 January, 10 to 14 February, 3 to 7 March, 10 to 14 March and included 25,900 adults aged 16 years and over in Great Britain. Data collected between 27 January and 7 February and between 17 and 28 February were not included, as data on the end of the EU transition period were not collected on the survey in these periods. Pooling waves of data increases sample sizes, allowing us to explore the topic by different breakdowns. For more information see the associated dataset.

Further information on the survey design and quality can be found in the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey Quality and Methodology Information.

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Manylion cyswllt ar gyfer y Bwletin ystadegol

Tim Vizard, Bonnie Lewis, David Ainslie and Rhian Murphy,
policy.evidence.analysis@ons.gov.uk
Ffôn: +44 (0)300 0671543