Coronavirus and the social impacts on Great Britain: 5 November 2021

Indicators from the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey covering the period 20 to 31 October 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 Caleb Ogwuru, Charlotte Leach, Geeta Kerai and Lynsey Brown

Dyddiad y datganiad:
5 November 2021

Cyhoeddiad nesaf:
19 November 2021

1. Main points

All indicators in this bulletin are for the period 20 to 31 October 2021 and based on adults in Great Britain.

  • Over 8 in 10 (83%) adults reported they wore a face covering when outside their home in the past seven days, while around 4 in 10 (39%) reported they always or often maintained social distancing when outside their home.

  • Among adults with a child aged 12 to 15 years living in their household, 50% reported that the child would be very likely or fairly likely to receive a coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine, with an additional 28% saying the child had already received a vaccine.

  • Around 9 in 10 (92%) adults who have received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine would be very likely or fairly likely to have a booster vaccine if offered.

  • Around 1 in 6 (17%) adults reported they had not been able to buy essential food items in the last two weeks because they were not available (16% in the previous period - 6 to 17 October), with almost 6 in 10 (57%) reporting that everything they needed had been available to buy (47% in the previous period).

  • Around 2 in 10 (18%) adults reported they were unable to buy fuel in the last two weeks because it was not available (37% in the previous period).

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2. Social impacts of coronavirus

Face coverings

Most adults (84%) felt that wearing a face covering was either very important or important as a measure to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). At the same time, 83% of adults reported they wore a face covering when outside their home in the past seven days.

Social distancing

Most adults (85%) felt that social distancing from others not in their household was either very important or important, though only 39% reported they always or often maintained social distancing when outside their home, continuing a gradual decrease from 91% in February 2021.

Physical contact outside and inside the home

Almost 6 in 10 adults (58%) reported they avoided physical contact with others outside their home in the past seven days, compared with 55% in the previous period (6 to 17 October).

When friends and family had come into their home, the most common actions adults reported to help reduce the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) were:

  • washing hands regularly (33%)
  • opening windows or doors (24%)
  • maintaining social distancing (16%)
  • cleaning touch points (14%)

Around 4 in 10 adults (41%) reported friends and family had not come into their homes in the past seven days.

Self-isolation

The proportion of adults who reported self-isolating in the past seven days remained stable at 3%, unchanged from the previous period. The main reasons adults self-isolated were:

  • they had tested positive for COVID-19 (34%)
  • they had been in contact with someone who had tested positive for coronavirus (27%)
  • they are worried about catching COVID-19 (20%)

Personal well-being measures

The four personal well-being measures all remained stable:

  • life satisfaction (7.0 in this period, 7.1 in the previous period)
  • feeling that the things done in life are worthwhile (7.2 in this period, 7.3 in the previous period)
  • happiness (7.0 in this period, 7.0 in the previous period)
  • anxiety (4.1 in this period, 4.0 in the previous period)

Location of work

Among working adults:

  • 7 in 10 (70%) reported travelling to work at some point in the past seven days (unchanged from the previous period)
  • 1 in 3 (33%) reported working from home at some point in the past seven days (30% in the previous period)

Adults who both worked at home and travelled to work are included in both estimates and therefore may not sum to 100%.

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3. Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccinations

In this period, we asked adults about the likelihood of children living in their household being vaccinated and on booster vaccines.

Vaccination of children aged 12 to 15 years

Of adults with a child aged between 12 and 15 years in the household, half of adults (50%) reported the child would be very likely or fairly likely to receive a vaccine for coronavirus (COVID-19) (60% in the previous period). Almost 3 in 10 (28%) said the child had already received a vaccine (17% in the previous period).

COVID-19 booster vaccine

Among adults who have received both doses of a coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine, around 9 in 10 (92%) said they would be very likely or fairly likely to have a booster vaccine if offered to them. Meanwhile, 1 in 25 (4%) said they would be very unlikely or fairly unlikely to have a booster vaccine if offered. More people in older age groups said they were very or fairly likely to have a booster vaccine (96% of 50 to 69 year olds and 98% of those aged 70 years and over) compared with younger age groups (87% of 16 to 29 year olds and 88% of 30 to 49 year olds).

The most common reasons reported for being very or fairly unlikely to have the booster vaccine if offered were:

  • thinking the first and second vaccine will be enough to keep safe (46%)
  • thinking the vaccine booster will not offer any extra protection (39%)
  • thinking the vaccine booster should be offered to others instead (31%)
  • being worried about long-term effects on health (23%)
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4. Goods shortages

In this period, we also asked adults whether they had experienced shortages of any goods at any time in the past two weeks. Around 4 in 10 (43%) adults reported experiencing shortages (53% in the previous period).

Food

Around 1 in 6 (17%) reported they had not been able to buy essential food because it was not available (16% in the previous period).

When food shopping, around 2 in 3 (65%) reported experiencing some differences compared with the usual. The most commonly reported differences were:

  • less variety in the shops (46%)
  • items needed were not available, but a replacement was found (20%)
  • items needed were not available and a replacement could not be found (20%)

Around 9 in 10 (89%) adults reported their food shopping habits had not changed in the past two weeks.

Fuel

Around 2 in 10 (18%) were unable to buy fuel because it was not available (37% in the previous period).

More than 4 in 10 (44%) adults reported experiencing differences when buying fuel. The most commonly reported differences were:

  • queueing for longer than normal at a petrol station (24%)
  • spending more than usual to get the fuel needed (20%)
  • using vehicle less to avoid buying more fuel (15%)

Around 8 in 10 (82%) adults reported their fuel buying habits had not changed in the past two weeks.

Medicine

Around 2 in 10 (23%) adults who had tried to buy medicine or get a prescription reported experiencing some differences compared with the usual. The most commonly reported differences were:

  • having to wait longer for their prescription (13%)
  • having to go to more pharmacies to find what they needed (4%)
  • items needed were not available and a replacement could not be found (4%)
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5. Christmas shopping

In this period, for the first time, we asked adults about Christmas shopping. In the past two weeks, 12% of adults bought items for Christmas that they would usually purchase later in the year, 3% of adults pre-ordered items they would usually buy or order later in the year, and 86% of adults said they had not bought or pre-ordered any items earlier than normal.

The most common items bought or pre-ordered earlier than usual for Christmas were:

  • food (47%)
  • toys (44%)
  • clothes, shoes or accessories (33%)
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6. Social impacts on Great Britain data

Coronavirus and the social impacts on Great Britain
Dataset | Released 5 November 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 impact on Great Britain: likelihood of a child receiving a vaccine for coronavirus (COVID-19)
Dataset | Released on 5 November 2021
Dataset from the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey (OPN) on the likelihood of children aged between 12 and 15 years receiving a coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine, covering the period 20 to 31 October 2021.

Coronavirus and the social impacts on Great Britain: personal experience of shortage of goods
Dataset | Released on 5 November 2021
Data from the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey (OPN) on whether people experienced shortage of goods such as food, medicine and fuel when shopping, covering the period 20 to 31 October 2021.

Coronavirus and the social impacts on Great Britain: Christmas shopping
Dataset | Released on 5 November 2021
Data from the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey (OPN) on whether adults have bought or pre-ordered any items for Christmas and what items these were.

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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.

Sampling and weighting

From the period between 4 and 8 August 2021 onwards, the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey (OPN) sample size was reduced to around 5,000 households in each period to help ensure the survey remains sustainable. In this period between 20 and 31 October, we sampled 5,999 households. These were randomly selected from those that had previously completed the Labour Market Survey (LMS) or OPN. The responding sample contained 4,397 individuals, representing a 73% response rate.

Survey weights were applied to make estimates representative of the population (based on September 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

Caleb Ogwuru, Charlotte Leach, Geeta Kerai and Lynsey Brown
policy.evidence.analysis@ons.gov.uk
Ffôn: +44 300 0671543