Coronavirus and the social impacts on Great Britain: 31 July 2020

Indicators from the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey covering the period 22 to 26 July 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:
31 July 2020

Cyhoeddiad nesaf:
7 August 2020

1. Main points

  • This week, over 8 in 10 adults (84%) who have left their homes have worn a face covering to slow the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) – an increase from 71% last week and 61% the week before.

  • Over half of adults (57%) said they strongly supported the mandatory wearing of face coverings in shops and supermarkets.

  • More than 3 in 10 adults (34%) said they would feel comfortable or very comfortable eating indoors at a restaurant this week, a similar proportion to last week (33%).

  • Just over 1 in 10 adults (12%) said they would feel comfortable or very comfortable to visit an indoor gym, and 13% reported they would feel comfortable or very comfortable visiting an indoor swimming pool or water park.

  • More than 7 in 10 adults (73%) met up with other people to socialise this week – a similar proportion to last week (71%).

  • Over half of working adults (54%) reported they had travelled to work in the past seven days, a similar level to last week (53%).

  • Just under half of adults (47%) reported that they are likely or very likely to use the NHS COVID-19 app when it becomes available.

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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 in Great Britain conducted between 22 and 26 July 2020 (inclusive). Results this week are based on 1,564 responding adults (62% 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.

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 22 to 26 July 2020 and "last week" refers to the period 15 to 19 July 2020.

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3. Leaving home

Of adults in Great Britain, over 9 in 10 (94%) said they had left their home for any reason in the past seven days, a similar proportion to last week (93%).

!

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.

Socialising

More than 7 in 10 adults (73%) met up with other people to socialise this week – a similar proportion to last week (71%). Half of all adults (50%) reported that family or friends had visited them at home this week.

When meeting up with other people, almost half of adults (47%) said they always maintained social distancing, with less than 1 in 10 (8%) saying they rarely or never maintained social distancing. For those aged 70 years and over, 7 in 10 (70%) said they always maintained social distancing when meeting up with other people.

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

More than 3 in 10 adults (34%) said they would feel comfortable or very comfortable to eat indoors at a restaurant, a similar proportion to last week (33%).

Just over 1 in 10 adults (12%) said they would feel comfortable or very comfortable to visit an indoor gym, 13% reported they would feel comfortable or very comfortable visiting an indoor swimming pool or water park, while 19% felt comfortable or very comfortable visiting an outdoor swimming pool or water park.

Face coverings

In the past seven days, more than 8 in 10 adults (84%) who have left their homes have worn a face covering to slow the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) – an increase from 71% last week and 61% the week before.

Of those who had been shopping this week, over three-quarters (76%) said they had worn a face covering.

At the time of the survey it was mandatory to wear face coverings while shopping in Scotland. The survey collection period (22 to 26 July) also covered the introduction of mandatory wearing of face coverings while shopping in England (from 24 July). Over 9 in 10 adults in Scotland (97%) had worn face coverings when shopping in the last seven days, compared with 74% in England and 58% in Wales (where it is not mandatory to wear them).

Respondents were asked this week to what extent they supported or opposed the mandatory wearing of face coverings in shops and supermarkets. Over half of adults (57%) strongly supported the mandatory wearing of face coverings in these places. Those who live in Scotland were the most likely to strongly support this (71%), followed by those aged 70 years and over (70%); while people living in Wales were least likely to strongly support it (50%).

Regardless of whether they had worn a face covering in the past, 9 in 10 adults (90%) said they were either very or fairly likely to wear one in the next seven days.

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, 89% reported they had worn a face covering while doing so.

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. Work

    Over half of working adults (57%) said the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic was having an impact on their work this week – a similar level to last week (55%).

    Of all working adults, almost 8 in 10 (78%) said they had either worked at home or travelled to work this week – a similar level to last week (80%).

    Over half of working adults (54%) reported they had travelled to work in the past seven days, a similar level to last week (53%), while less than one-quarter of adults (24%) who had worked in the last seven days said they had done so exclusively at home, down from 27% last week.

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

    More detailed information on changes to labour market participation can be found in Coronavirus and the latest indicators for the UK economy and society: 30 July 2020.

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    5. Problems with companies

    We asked adults what problems, if any, they had experienced with companies since the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic outbreak.

    While over half (55%) reported they had not experienced any problems, almost 1 in 5 (17%) had experienced issues with the delivery of goods, 16% had paid high prices to get essential goods, and 13% had experienced difficulties with getting refunds for cancelled air travel.

    We also asked those people who had experienced difficulties in getting refunds, whether they have now received them. Almost half (46%) had not received any of the refunds they were expecting at the time of the survey.

    Of those who had experienced problems getting a refund for cancelled air travel, 46% had now received their refund. Of those who had experienced problems getting a refund for cancelled events, 56% had now received their refund.

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    6. Track and trace app

    This week, we asked respondents how likely they would be to use the NHS COVID-19 app when it becomes available. Just under half of adults (47%) reported that they are likely or very likely to use the app.

    We also asked adults with dependent children how comfortable they would feel with the children or young people in their household using the app when it became available. Of these adults, 14% said they would feel very comfortable with their children using the app, with a further 26% reporting they would feel comfortable. Over 1 in 5 (23%) said they would feel uncomfortable or very uncomfortable with their children using the app on their smartphones. Reasons these adults may not have felt comfortable might include the age of the child or access to a smartphone.

    All adults were asked at what age they thought it was appropriate for children to use the NHS COVID-19 app on their smartphone. The majority of adults (31%) felt that the app should only be used by those aged 16 years and over, while 30% felt that any age was appropriate with the consent of a parent or guardian. Just over 1 in 10 (14%) adults felt that it was appropriate for children aged between 13 and 15 years to use the app, while less than 1 in 20 (4%) felt it would be appropriate for children aged between 10 and 12 years to use the smartphone app.

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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 31 July 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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    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

    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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    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 62% (or 1,564 individuals) for the survey conducted from 22 July to 26 July 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 those that had previously completed the Annual Population Survey (APS), which consists collectively of those respondents who successfully completed the last wave of the Labour Force Survey (LFS) or the local LFS boost. 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 1,564 individuals (62% 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 July 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