Office for National Statistics (ONS) data and analysis are vital for informing the public and the government’s response to COVID-19. This page is a summary of insights from our most recent analysis and will be updated as new publications are released. Sign up to our email alerts for daily updates in your inbox.
If you are looking for statistics on the number of COVID-19 cases in the UK, the latest figures are available on GOV.UK.
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This page was last updated at 09:30 on 29 May 2020.
29 May 2020
Children returning to school
Some children, in England, are set to return to school on 1 June 2020 as part of new guidance set out by the government. Initially, this is limited to Early Years, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 children. We estimate that there are approximately 2.1 million children in the year groups, making up around 43% of all primary school children.
There are up to 680,000 families that could expect all of their children to return to school, equivalent to 17.5% of all families with primary or early years aged children. This could potentially allow an estimated 1 million people, in employment in these families, to return to work. This is around 3.8% of the total workforce in England.
One talking point around this policy has been the potential impact on older generations. The Labour Force Survey suggests that 87.2% of primary aged children live in households where no one is over the age of 50. Meanwhile, 7.3% of primary children live with someone aged 50 to 59 years and 1.7% live with someone aged 70 years and over.
A small minority of children due to return to school are living with someone aged 70 years and over
Primary-aged children living in a household, by age of oldest household member, England, October to December 2019
This and further breakdowns are available as a user-requested dataset.
29 May 2020
Leaving the home
More people in Great Britain are venturing outdoors to visit parks or public green spaces.
More than 4 in 10 adults (42%) were making the most of the great outdoors, with 36% of these saying they had met family or friends from outside their household.
Fine weather may well be a motivating factor in encouraging people to leave their homes; 90% of adults said they had left for any reason compared with 86% last week.
In the period 21 to 24 May, leaving to meet with others in a public place saw the largest increase, but the most common reasons for leaving were still essential shopping, exercise, work and medical need.
Official advice in England, Wales and Scotland offers differing guidance on leaving home.
More than one in three adults in employment (36%) said they had left their home to travel to and from work in the past seven days, a similar level to last week.
28 May 2020
COVID-19 Infection Survey
The infection rate for the number of people within England with COVID-19 appears to be stable, according to a pilot study.
An average of 133,000 people in England had the coronavirus (COVID-19) at any given time over the period from 11 May to 24 May 2020.
The change in this compared with our previous estimates for the period 4 May to 17 May is relatively small and indicates that the number of people in England that have COVID-19 is relatively stable.
It is estimated that there was an average of 54,000 new infections per week over the period of the study, which is between 26 April and 24 May, for people living in private-residential households in the community in England. This equates to an incidence rate of 0.10 new cases per 100 people.
The data showed that those who work in patient-facing roles in the health and social care sector were more than four times as likely to test positive for COVID-19; 1.73% as opposed to 0.38%.
28 May 2020
Online job adverts
Figures for online job adverts show that the number of adverts declined more than 50% from the start of March to the start of May 2020. Prior to this, they had been relatively stable since the beginning of 2019.
There were large declines in the categories of catering and hospitality, and wholesale and retail. There was a smaller fall in education, while the number of job adverts in health and social care showed little or no change.
These are experimental estimates, which are created based upon job adverts provided by Adzuna.
Total online job vacancies declined more than 50% from the start of March to the start of May 2020
Total weekly job adverts on Adzuna, UK: index 2019 average = 100
- The observations were collected on a roughly weekly basis; however, they were not all observed at the same point in each week, leading to slightly irregular gaps between each observation.
- These series have a small number of missing weeks, mostly in late 2019, and latest is in January 2020. These values have been imputed using linear interpolation.
- The figure for total adverts in education on 21 March 2019 was anomalous and has been replaced with an imputed value.
28 May 2020
Business impact of COVID-19
Many UK businesses who have paused trading have less than six months of cash reserves available to them, and some are planning to resume trading again in the next four weeks, initial results from our latest fortnightly survey suggest.
Of the businesses who had paused trading, 58% have less than six months’ worth of cash reserves, compared with 39% of those businesses who are currently trading. Overall, 4% of responding businesses had no cash reserves; this rose to 7% for businesses who had paused trading.
Some of these businesses are now looking to resume trading, with 14% intending to start in the next two weeks, and a further 10% in the next two to four weeks. Of those looking to resume in the next two weeks, they expect that 31% of their workforce will be returning from furlough leave.
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme had been applied for by 79% of all responding businesses, resulting in 27% of the workforce in these businesses being furloughed.
27 May 2020
Life under lockdown
People in Great Britain spent far less time travelling during April 2020 because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown, allowing more time for things like sleep and rest, free time, gardening and DIY.
Time spent providing childcare rose for those with children in the household, with friends and relatives outside the household unable to provide as much support as they normally would. For example, over-60s reduced their time spent providing childcare by 90% following social distancing restrictions.
This analysis compares results of our online time-use study conducted entirely under lockdown (28 March and 26 April 2020) with previous data gathered under “normal circumstances” in 2014 to 2015.
Daily travel time fell by more than an hour during lockdown
Average time spent per day on selected activities, 2014 to 2015 (UK) and March to April 2020 (Great Britain)
The impact of the lockdown on people’s lives varies by income group. Those in high-income households have seen the greatest fall in travel time and a corresponding rise in time spent working from home. They also report having more free time than normal.
Meanwhile, people in low-income households were more likely to continue working outside the home, their increase in free time was smaller than higher-income households and time spent working away from home was unchanged.
The highest-income group was most likely to report an increase in free time during the lockdown
Change in average time spent per day on selected activities, by income group, 2014 to 2015 (UK) and March to April 2020 (Great Britain)
26 May 2020
Deaths involving COVID-19
Up to 15 May 2020, there were 41,220 deaths registered in England and Wales involving the coronavirus (COVID-19) (23,108 men and 18,112 women).
The majority of deaths involving COVID-19 have been among people aged 65 years and over (36,639 out of 41,220), with 46% (16,962) of these occurring in the over-85 age group.
Our data are based on deaths registered in the stated period and include all deaths where “COVID-19” was mentioned on death certificates. We have published a summary of where you can find data on infection rates and deaths involving COVID-19 for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Our figures highlight a gap between the total number of weekly deaths in 2020 and the average between 2015 and 2019 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The total number of deaths in the week ending 15 May (Week 20) was 14,573, up slightly on the previous week and 43% higher than the five-year average. The rise compared with Week 19 was largely because of the Bank Holiday on 8 May, which delayed some deaths registrations.
The majority of excess deaths compared with the five-year average have involved COVID-19
Deaths in England and Wales in 2020 compared with the average between 2015 and 2019
26 May 2020
Social impact of COVID-19 by country and region
The effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown are being felt more keenly in some parts of Great Britain than others.
While 80% of adults in Great Britain were somewhat or very worried about the effect that the coronavirus was having on their life between 3 April and 3 May 2020, this varied from 76% in the East Midlands and in Scotland, to 87% in the North East.
These differences were even more obvious among 16- to 34-year-olds, with 94% in the North East somewhat or very worried, compared with 67% in the East of England, South East and East Midlands.
There were also differences in the topic that people were most concerned about, when they said they were somewhat or very worried.
London residents were most concerned about their health, well-being or access to care (30%) and people in Yorkshire and The Humber were the most likely to mention work, school or university (29%).
22 May 2020
Public sector borrowing
Provisional figures for April 2020 show that the UK public sector borrowed £62.1 billion, almost as much as in the whole of the last financial year (£62.7 billion). Borrowing is larger than usual partly because there is additional spending, such as on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), and partly because tax receipts tend to fall when the economy is slowing.
Borrowing is the difference between receipts, such as from taxes, and spending on government services, such as on health, education and transport. Borrowing is calculated on a national accounts (accrued) basis, which records payments in line with economic activity.
The UK public sector debt was just under £1.9 trillion at the end of April, equivalent to just under 98% of gross domestic product (GDP). This is the cumulative total amount owed by the public sector.
These figures present an initial indication of the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on the public sector finances. There is a large amount of uncertainty about the impact on tax receipts and on government spending. Our data will be revised over the coming months as more information becomes available.
22 May 2020
The record fall in retail sales picked up speed in April 2020, with sales volumes dropping by 18.1% compared with 5.2% in March 2020.
According to our latest data, 14.3% of stores reported zero turnover in April.
Clothing sales declined by more than half (50.2%), having already fallen by 34.9% in the previous month. Meanwhile, sales at food stores also declined (by 4.1%), following an initial rise in March as lockdown measures were introduced.
Non-store retailing and alcohol stores (off-licences) were the only sectors to record growth in April, at 18.0% and 2.3% respectively.
The lockdown continued to affect people’s buying habits, with the proportion spent online rising again to a new record of 30.7%.
22 May 2020
Importers and exporters
Coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions are having a substantial impact on trade between UK and overseas businesses.
Nearly three-quarters (72%) of exporting businesses in the UK say they are exporting less than normal, while 59% of importers report that imports are lower than normal.
Transportation and storage has been most affected, with 81% of exporting businesses and 80% of importing businesses seeing a reduction in trade.
This analysis is based on businesses that responded to our survey as continuing to trade and reported financial performance outside of normal expectations.
User requested data
We have been responding to data requests from the public, media and government during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Responses are published in our list of user requested data.
Our subnational data page offers advice to anyone doing their own analysis on the impact of the coronavirus. It contains useful links to geographic boundaries and datasets such as population by local area.