Coronavirus and the social impacts on Great Britain: 30 July 2021

Indicators from the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey covering the period 21 to 25 July 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, Rhian Murphy, Geeta Kerai, Charlotte Leach and Catarina Figueira

Dyddiad y datganiad:
30 July 2021

Cyhoeddiad nesaf:
6 August 2021

1. Main points

This week, over the period 21 to 25 July 2021, based on adults in Great Britain:

  • The proportion of adults reporting that they wore face coverings when outside their home remained the same as last week (95%), while adults who always or often maintained social distancing fell this week (61%) when compared with last week (63%).

  • A high proportion of adults felt that compliance measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) were either very important or important; measures included wearing a face covering while shopping (89% this week, 90% last week) and socially distancing from those not in their household (88% this week, 89% last week).

  • This week, 6% of adults reported that they were self-isolating at some point in the last seven days (7% last week and 3% between 9 and 13 June 2021); the main reasons were being in contact with someone who had tested positive for COVID-19 (42%), followed by having been notified by NHS Test and Trace, or notified directly from a venue that they had visited (37%).

  • More than half (55%) of adults said they met up indoors with someone not in their household in the past seven days, an increase from 20% in the week ending 6 May before indoor restrictions were lifted.

  • Adults meeting outdoors with someone not in their household in the past seven days increased to 68% from 20% in the week ending 7 March before outdoor activity restrictions were lifted.

  • Over 3 in 10 (33% this week, 32% last week) adults reported that they felt it will take more than a year for life to return to normal; the highest since 28 October to 1 November 2020 when 34% of adults reported this.

  • Personal well-being measures remained fairly stable this week compared with last week, with similar levels for happiness (7.2 this week, 7.1 last week), and life satisfaction (7.0 this week, 7.1 last week); the feeling that the things done in life are worthwhile (7.3) and anxiety levels (3.8) were unchanged from last week.

  • Positive sentiment towards COVID-19 vaccines remained high with 96% (same as last week) of adults reporting they had now either received a vaccine or would be likely to have a vaccine if offered, which is a further increase since the beginning of the vaccination programme (78% between 10 and 13 December 2020).

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The latest week's estimates presented in this release are based on data collected after 19 July 2021 when step four of the roadmap to remove most remaining legal restrictions imposed during the coronavirus pandemic was implemented. However, many of our questions relate to the previous seven days and will include responses that refer to the week preceding the easing of restrictions.

Statistician's comment

“Interestingly, despite the lifting of legal restrictions in England on 19 July, people continue to feel strongly that measures like wearing face coverings and hand washing are important.”

Tim Vizard, Principal Research Officer, Office for National Statistics.

Follow the Policy, Evidence and Analysis Team on Twitter @TimVizardONS.

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2. Main indicators

Throughout this update:

  • "this week" refers to responses collected during the period 21 to 25 July 2021

  • "last week" refers to responses collected during the period 14 to 18 July 2021

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

Compliance with measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) remained high, for example, reporting using a face covering when outside the home (95% this week and last week, 97% in the period 24 to 28 March 2021) or handwashing when returning home from a public place (83% this week, 82% last week, 89% in the period 24 to 28 March 2021).

The proportion of adults who reported always or often maintaining social distancing has declined gradually over the last few months, from 85% in April (14 to 18 April 2021) to 61% this week. The proportion of adults social distancing this week increased with age:

  • 39% of 16 to 29-year olds

  • 58% of 40 to 49-year olds

  • 71% of 50 to 69-year olds

  • 74% of adults aged 70 years and over

A high proportion of adults also continued to feel that compliance measures were either very important or important; measures included wearing a face covering while shopping (89% this week, 90% last week) and socially distancing from others not in their household (88% this week, 89% last week).

Table 1: Main indicators

Great Britain, up to 25 July 2021

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Notes:
  1. "Latest" refers to responses collected during the period 21 to 25 July 2021.

  2. Any breaks in the series shown is due to 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.

  4. "Always/often maintaining social distancing when meeting up with people outside their household” has changed from 21 July. Estimates prior to this date were based on “Always/often maintaining social distancing when meeting up with people outside their household, childcare or support bubble".

Please note that these questions were asked after the removal of most legal limits on 19 July 2021 but may reference a period before this date when asked to refer to the last seven days.

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

Adults self-isolating in the last seven days

This week, we asked adults whether they had self-isolated in the last seven days. Please note that the nature of the question does not provide a static picture of the proportion that are self-isolating as it may include those who had already completed their self-isolation period within the seven day period. We estimate that 6% of adults reported they had self-isolated in the last seven days (7% last week). This has increased from 3% between 9 to 13 June 2021.

Younger adults were three times more likely than older adults to have self-isolated in the past seven days; 9% of 16 to 29-year olds had self-isolated compared with 3% of those aged 70 years and over (Figure 1). This reflects the rates of coronavirus infections in the population, with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey, UK: 30 July 2021 finding rates of COVID-19 were highest in younger adults.

When asked for reasons why adults were self-isolating, the most common reason was that they had been in contact with someone who had tested positive for COVID-19 (42%), followed by being told to self-isolate through NHS Test and Trace or directly from a venue they had visited. Over one in eight reported that they had self-isolated because they had tested positive for COVID-19 (Figure 2).

Meeting up indoors and outdoors

Over half (55%) of adults said they met up indoors with someone not in their household in the past seven days, while 68% of adults reported meeting up outdoors with someone not in their household.

When compared with last week and before further easing of the restrictions in England on 19 July 2021, the proportion of adults meeting up indoors with someone not in their household in the past seven days was 47% and meeting up outdoors was 58%. It is worth noting that the question wording changed from 21 July to exclude childcare or support bubbles and results should therefore be treated with caution. However, these proportions have been generally increasing since before restrictions were lifted in England; meeting up indoors was at 20% in the week ending 16 May and meeting up outdoors was at 20% in the week ending 7 March (before outdoor activity restrictions were lifted).

Figure 3: Over half (55%) of adults met up indoors with someone outside their household in the past seven days

Adults in Great Britain, January to July 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?".

  2. Base: all adults.

  3. Questions asked about meeting indoors and outdoors changed from the period 17 to 21 March and again from 21 July 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

Just over six in ten (61%) of working adults travelled to work (both exclusively and in combination with working from home) in the last seven days (64% last week). Nearly half of these adults (49%) were travelling were travelling to work exclusively (and did not work from home), similar to last week (50%). This is an increase from mid-February (34% in the period 10 to 14 February 2021).

Just under a quarter (22%) of adults reported working from home and not travelling to work this week (Figure 4).

More information on attitudes towards the future of homeworking is available in this article.

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3. Personal well-being

Personal well-being measures remained relatively stable this week with the feeling that the things done in life are worthwhile (7.3) and anxiety (3.8) unchanged from last week. These measures are yet to recover to their pre-pandemic level in February 2020.

Life satisfaction levels decreased slightly this week (7.0) compared with last week (7.1) and levels of happiness increased slightly this week (7.2) compared with last week (7.1).

Figure 5: Well-being measures remain relatively stable this week

Adults in Great Britain, March 2020 to July 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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4. Perceptions of the future

This week, nearly one in six (15%) adults reported they felt life would return to normal in six months or less, unchanged from last week.

This proportion has gradually decreased from 27% in the period in the period 12 to 16 May 2021, the week prior to the introduction of step three of the roadmap to remove restrictions in England. This was also before it was announced that there will be a four week pause, up to 19 July 2021, of step four of the roadmap.

Over 3 in 10 (33% this week, 32% last week) adults reported that they felt it will take more than a year for life to return to normal, the highest this has been since 28 October to 1 November 2020, when 34% of adults reported this (Figure 6).

Figure 6: Over 3 in 10 (33%) adults felt it would take over a year for life to return to normal

Adults in Great Britain, March 2020 to July 2021

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Notes:
  1. Question: "How long do you think it will be before your life returns to normal?".

  2. Base: all adults.

  3. Response categories of "7 to 12 months", "Not sure" and "Prefer not to say" are not shown on this chart.

  4. Proportions of less than 1% are not included on this chart.

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Further statistics on well-being, loneliness, perceptions of the future and worries, including trends over time, can be found in Table 1b, Table 7 and Table 8 of the Coronavirus and the social impacts on Great Britain dataset.

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5. Attitudes to the COVID-19 vaccination

This week, 96% of adults reported positive vaccine sentiment, unchanged from 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.

Since 17 June 2021, all adults aged over 18 years have been able to book a COVID-19 vaccine in England. Figure 7 shows how vaccination sentiment among different age groups has changed since early December 2020:

  • over 9 in 10 (92%) people aged 16 to 29 years reported positive vaccine sentiment this week (same as last week); this proportion was 63% at the start of the COVID-19 vaccination programme in December 2020

  • over 9 in 10 (94%) people aged 30 to 49 years reported positive vaccine sentiment (same as last week); this proportion was 74% at the start of the COVID-19 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 7: Over 9 in 10 (94%) of people aged 30 to 49 years have received or would be likely to accept a COVID-19 vaccine if offered

Adults in Great Britain, December 2020 to July 2021

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Notes:
  1. Questions: "Have you received a vaccine for the coronavirus (COVID-19)?", "Have you been offered a 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 the 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. 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, 12 to 16 May, 26 to 31 May and 2 to 6 June, the 99% indicated on the chart for those aged 70 years and above represents a proportion greater than 99% but less than 100%.

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The 96% of all 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 (92%), which includes over 7 in 10 (74%) adults having received a second dose

  • had been offered a vaccine and were awaiting their first dose (1%)

  • had not yet been offered a vaccine but were likely (very or fairly likely) to have one when offered (3%)

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A similar proportion of adults who 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 COVID-19 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 8: Over 7 in 10 (74%) of all adults reported they had received a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

Adults in Great Britain, 21 to 25 July 2021

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Notes:
  1. Questions: "Have you received a vaccine for the coronavirus (COVID-19)?", "Have you been offered a 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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More about coronavirus

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 7 because of rounding.
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6. Social impacts on Great Britain data

Coronavirus and the social impacts on Great Britain
Dataset | Released 30 July 2021
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 age, sex and region.

Coronavirus and the social impacts on Great Britain: Perceptions of compliance behaviours and planned behaviours when restrictions end
Dataset | Released 30 July 2021
Data on adults’ compliance behaviours (hand washing or sanitising, face coverings and social distancing) to slow down the spread of coronavirus, and adults’ planned behaviours and attitudes towards the ending of COVID-19 restrictions.

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7. 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 a vaccine

  • have been offered a vaccine and are waiting to be vaccinated

  • report being very or fairly likely to have a 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.

Sampling and weighting

This week, 21 to 25 July 2021, we sampled 5,996 households. These were randomly selected from those that had previously completed the Labour Market Survey (LMS) or OPN. The responding sample contained 3,784 individuals, representing a 63% response rate.

Survey weights were applied to make estimates representative of the population (based on July 2021 population estimates). 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, Rhian Murphy, Geeta Kerai, Charlotte Leach and Catarina Figueira
policy.evidence.analysis@ons.gov.uk
Ffôn: +44 (0)1633 455278