This morning, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) received a request from the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) for pre-release access to the weekly deaths data that are being published at 09:30 this morning (Tuesday 31 March). Approval was given at 08:29 for today’s date only on specific grounds relating to the need for ministers to better understand the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) across non-hospital settings, as today’s release is the first of its kind.