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Impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on lifestyle


More than half (57%) of adults in Great Britain say they are worried about the plan to remove the legal restrictions in England (7 to 11 July 2021). Two-thirds say they plan to wear masks in shops and on public transport.

In the week ending 25 July 2021, the number of UK daily flights reached the highest level seen since the week to 22 March 2020, just before the first national lockdown, according to data from EUROCONTROL. However, the average number of daily flights still remains less than half (43%) of the level seen in the equivalent week in 2019.

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Compliance with COVID-19 guidance

The majority (79%) of those required to self-isolate after testing positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) reported fully adhering to the requirements throughout their self-isolation period in July (5 to 10 July 2021). This is consistent with adherence reported in June (79%), but lower than that reported in May (86%). Adherence in July was lower among those aged 18 to 34 years (75%), compared with those aged 35 to 54 years (86%).

Around 4 in 10 (42%) reported that self-isolation had a negative effect on their well-being and mental health.

Last updated: 29/07/2021

Read more about this in Coronavirus and self-isolation after testing positive in England: 5 July to 10 July 2021

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A majority of people are worried about the lifting of rules in England

Question: How worried or unworried are you about the plan to end coronavirus (COVID-19) rules in England on 19 July? Adults in Great Britain, 7 to 11 July 2021

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More than half (57%) of adults in Great Britain say they are worried about the plan to remove the legal restrictions in England. This includes one-fifth (20%) who are very worried. Meanwhile, 15% are not at all worried about the plan and 5% are somewhat unworried.

Despite recent coronavirus infections being highest in younger age groups, those aged 16 to 29 years were the least likely to say they were worried. Some 42% reported being either very or somewhat worried, compared with 64% of adults aged 70 years and over.

Last updated: 16/07/2021

Read more about this in Two thirds of adults still plan to wear masks in shops and on public transport

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Two-thirds of adults still plan to wear masks in shops and on public transport

Question: When coronavirus (COVID-19) rules end, which of these, if any, do you think you will still do? Adults in Great Britain, 7 to 11 July 2021

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Two-thirds (64%) of adults say they plan to continue to cover their faces in shops, following the lifting of most coronavirus (COVID-19) legal restrictions in England from 19 July 2021. The same percentage (64%) plan to continue to wear masks on public transport, while 60% plan to avoid crowded places.

Behaviours such as mask wearing in shops and on public transport will likely be lowest among younger people, with 51% of those aged 16 to 29 years saying they plan to do so in either setting.

Last updated: 16/07/2021

Read more about this in Two thirds of adults still plan to wear masks in shops and on public transport

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Majority of adults felt that preventative measures were either very important or important.  However, their perception of other people's compliance was less optimistic for these measures. Around 9 in 10 (87%) thought it was important to socially distance from those not in their household, childcare or support bubble. However, only 23% of adults felt that other people often or always did so. 

Last updated: 09/07/2021

Read more about this in Coronavirus and the social impacts on Great Britain

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Mandatory face coverings and social distancing would put clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) people at ease in otherwise uncomfortable settings

Most CEV people were comfortable or very comfortable visiting healthcare settings (70%). However, a much smaller proportion (37%) felt comfortable or very comfortable visiting hospitality, educational and cultural settings. 

The majority of those who did not feel comfortable visiting these settings felt that mandatory face coverings (75%), regular cleaning (75%) and social distancing procedures (69%) would help put them at ease. 

Last updated: 13/07/2021 

Read more about this in coronavirus and clinically extremely vulnerable people in England

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Travel

UK flight numbers reached their highest level in July 2021 since just before the first national lockdown

In the week ending 25 July 2021, the number of UK daily flights reached the highest level seen since the week to 22 March 2020 (the day before the first national lockdown in the UK). According to EUROCONTROL, the seven-day average number of daily international arrivals, departures and domestic flights in the UK rose by 17% from the previous week, to 2,877. However, the average number of flights in the latest week still remains less than half (43%) of the level seen in the equivalent week in 2019.

Last updated: 29/07/2021

Read more about this in Economic activity and social change in the UK, real-time indicators

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UK residents’ visits abroad by air (774,000) fell by 94% in January to March 2021, compared with the same months in 2020. Overseas residents also made fewer visits to the UK by air (195,000), 96% fewer in Quarter 1 2021 than in the same months in 2020. These reductions are attributable to coronavirus as travel continues to be restricted.

Last updated: 23/07/2021

Read more about this in Overseas travel and Tourism: January to March Quarter 1 2021

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All top 5 most visited countries by UK residents are currently on amber lists

Top 20 countries for total visits from UK residents, Quarter 3 average 2016 to 2019

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The most common reason for foreign travel in the UK is for holiday, followed by visiting friends and relatives (based on Quarter 3 between 2016 and 2019). Spain is the most visited country by UK residents (for any reason), followed by France. Both countries are on the amber list as of 8 June 2021. Around 6.3 million visits that would normally have been made to Spain and 3.6 million to France would now require quarantine and coronavirus (COVID-19) tests on return. 

Different countries are classed as red, amber or green based on whether people should travel to them and if quarantine is required because of coronavirus restrictions. The UK government is telling people they should not travel to countries on the red or amber lists. Up to date guidance on red, amber and green list rules for entering England is available on GOV.UK

Last updated: 10/06/2021 

Read more about this in Red, amber and green travel lists and overseas visits from the UK

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19 of the top 20 countries where UK residents make the most visits to see friends and relatives in summer are currently on amber and red lists

Top 20 countries for visits by UK residents to see friends and relatives, Quarter 3 average 2016 to 2019

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In an average pre-pandemic summer, UK residents made almost 6.6 million visits to see friends and family overseas. More than 5 million of these visits that would have normally been made (July to September) would currently require quarantine and coronavirus (COVID-19) tests on return. Of the 20 countries where UK residents make the most visits to see friends and relatives in summer, 19 are currently on amber and red lists (based on the lists as of 8 June 2021). 

Different countries are classed as red, amber or green based on whether people should travel to them and if quarantine is required because of coronavirus restrictions. The UK government is telling people they should not travel to countries on the red or amber lists. Up to date guidance on red, amber and green list rules for entering England is available on GOV.UK

Last updated: 10/06/2021 

Read more about this in Red, amber and green travel lists and overseas visits from the UK

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In order to travel abroad, more people were willing to wear a face covering or provide proof of vaccination than having to quarantine

Adults in Great Britain who had planned a trip abroad, 2 to 6 June 2021

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Just over 1 in 10 (12%) adults said they planned to go abroad before September, with younger age groups being more likely to report this compared with older age groups. Most people appeared willing to carry out some measures in order to travel, such as wearing a face covering to and from their destination (91%), providing proof of vaccination (86%) or taking a coronavirus test (74%). Fewer people appeared willing to carry out measures such as quarantining for 10 days after returning home (25%) or having to pay for or stay in a managed quarantine hotel (2%). 

Last updated: 11/06/2021 

Read more about this in Coronavirus and the social impacts on Great Britain

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Impact on everyday life

Police recorded crime fell during the first national lockdown (April 2020), before rising again slightly as restrictions eased over summer. In January and February 2021, crime declined again as national restrictions were reintroduced. In March 2021, crime increased with the phased exit out of lockdown.

The pandemic has affected different crime types in different ways. There were large decreases in domestic burglary as people stayed home and reduced social contact, while fraud and computer misuse offences rose with an increased reliance on online shopping.

Last updated: 22/07/2021 

Read more about this in Crime in England and Wales: year ending March 2021

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Almost two-thirds (61%) of students reported that lack of face-to-face learning had a major or moderate impact on the quality of their course

England, 24 May to 2 June 2021

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Of students who were in higher education prior to the pandemic, almost two-thirds (61%) reported that the lack of face-to-face learning (such as lectures and seminars) since the start of the pandemic had a major (32%) or moderate (29%) impact on the quality of their course. This is a slight increase compared with the beginning of May, when 56% reported a major or moderate impact. 

Last updated: 17/06/2021 

Read more about this in Coronavirus and higher education students: England, 24 May to 2 June 2021

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Socialising

Just under half of adults met up indoors with someone not in their household, childcare or support bubble

Adults in Great Britain, January to July 2021

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Just under half (48%) of adults met up indoors with someone not in their household, childcare or support bubble, while almost 6 in 10 (58%) met up outdoors (30 June to 4 July 2021). These proportions increased considerably as restrictions eased. 

Last updated: 09/07/2021 

Read more about this in Coronavirus and the social impacts on Great Britain

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Further information


This page provides an overview of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the UK, bringing together data from multiple sources. Each graphic provides a link to explore the topic further. See the more information page to read about different data sources used in the tool.

The tool is updated regularly when relevant data are published. This is typically at least twice a week, for example:

  • when weekly deaths registrations are published (usually on a Tuesday)

  • when results from the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey, and Opinions and Lifestyle Survey are published (usually on a Friday)

Daily updates on COVID-19 levels and vaccinations can be found on GOV.UK.

Some policy areas are devolved and more information is available for Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

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Contact

Latest insights team
infection.survey.analysis@ons.gov.uk