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Infections and deaths

The percentage of people in England testing positive has increased in those in school Year 12 to age 34 years, but may have fallen in school Years 7 to 11

18 June 2021

Infection rates remain low across the UK compared with earlier months in the year. The percentage of people testing positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) continued to increase in England in the week ending 12 June 2021. The positivity rate remains low in Wales. Trends are uncertain in Northern Ireland and Scotland in the latest week.

In the week ending 12 June 2021, the estimated percentage of the community population (those not in hospitals, care homes or other institutional settings) that had COVID-19 was:

  • 0.19% in England (1 in 520 people)

  • 0.07% in Wales (1 in 1,500 people)

  • 0.16% in Northern Ireland (1 in 610 people)

  • 0.17% in Scotland (1 in 600 people)

Cases that are compatible with the Delta variant continued to increase in England in the latest week. The positivity rate for this variant remains low in Wales, but the trends are uncertain in Northern Ireland and Scotland.

In England, the percentage of people testing positive increased among those in school Year 12 to age 34 years (week ending 12 June 2021). There are possible signs of a decrease for those in school Years 7 to 11. Trends are uncertain for all other age groups in the latest week.

The percentage of people testing positive increased in the North West and West Midlands in the week ending 12 June 2021. There were decreases in the East of England and East Midlands. In all other regions the trends are uncertain in the most recent week.

Because of low positivity rates, caution should be taken in over-interpreting small movements in the latest trends for both age and regional breakdowns.

The percentage of people testing positive has increased in those in school Year 12 to age 34 years in the week ending 12 June 2021

Estimated percentage of the population testing positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19) on nose and throat swabs, daily, by age group since 2 May 2021, England

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Data for percentage testing positive for COVID-19 by age in England (XLSX, 41 KB)

Notes

  1. All results are provisional and subject to revision.

Deaths from COVID-19 decreased in England and Wales in the latest week

22 June 2021

The number of deaths from all causes in England and Wales in the week ending 11 June 2021 was 10,204, which is 2.3% above the average for the corresponding week in 2015 to 2019. However, registrations in this week were affected by the Spring Bank Holiday, so trends should be interpreted with caution.

There were 84 deaths involving coronavirus (COVID-19) registered in England and Wales in the week ending 11 June 2021, a decrease of 14 deaths compared with the previous week. Deaths involving COVID-19 accounted for around 1 in 120, or 0.8%, of all deaths.

Deaths from all causes were above the five-year average in the week ending 11 June 2021

Number of deaths registered by week, England and Wales, 28 December 2019 to 11 June 2021

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Deaths registered by week (XLSX, 22 KB)

Notes:
  1. Figures include deaths of non-residents.
  2. Based on the date a death was registered rather than occurred.
  3. All figures for 2020 and 2021 are provisional.
  4. The number of deaths registered in a week are affected when Bank Holidays occur.
  5. The average for 2015 to 2019 provides a comparison of the number of deaths expected per week in a usual (non-pandemic) year.

The number of deaths involving COVID-19 decreased or was similar in the majority of the five-year age groups in the week ending 11 June 2021, compared with the week before.

Deaths involving COVID-19 decreased in four out of nine English regions and Wales, but increased in the North East, East of England, London and the South West in the week ending 11 June 2021.

The largest decrease was reported in the North West and the largest increase was reported in London.

Using the most up-to-date data, the total number of deaths involving COVID-19 in England and Wales is over 140,000 (140,289 registrations up to 11 June 2021).

Our data are based on deaths registered in England and Wales and include all deaths where “novel coronavirus (COVID-19)” was mentioned on the death certificate. Weekly figures are available by local authority and health board.

Antibody positivity and vaccination continue to rise

22 June 2021

It is estimated more than 8 in 10 adults (86.6%) in the community population in England would have tested positive for antibodies to coronavirus (COVID-19) in the week beginning 7 June 2021.

In Wales, an estimated 88.7% of adults would have tested positive for antibodies. In Northern Ireland, 85.4% would have tested positive, and in Scotland, 79.1%.

Across all four UK countries, there is a clear pattern between vaccination and testing positive for antibodies, although antibodies alone are not a precise measure of immunity as a result of vaccination.

We estimate that between 81.8% and 86.2% of the UK adult population had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine in the week beginning 7 June 2021, with between 49.6% and 66.8% of adults having received both doses.

Antibody positivity is highest among older age groups, but rose among those aged 25 to 49 years in England and Northern Ireland in recent weeks; in Wales and Scotland, positivity rose in those aged 16 to 49 years.

Antibody positivity continues to rise in younger age groups and remains high in older age groups

Modelled percentage of: adults testing positive for antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, adults who have received one or more doses of a COVID-19 vaccine; and fully vaccinated adults, by grouped age, UK countries, 7 December 2020 to 10 June 2021

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Antibody positivity and vaccination by age (XLSX, 140KB)

Notes:
  1. All results are provisional and subject to revision.
  2. These statistics refer to antibody tests and vaccinations reported in the community, by which we mean private households. These figures exclude individuals in hospitals, care homes and/or other institutional settings.
  3. In Northern Ireland, the number of people sampled who tested positive for antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 or reported receiving a COVID-19 vaccination is low compared with England, Wales and Scotland; therefore, people aged 50 to 69 years are included in the same age group, and those aged 70 years and over are included in the same age group.
  4. All estimates are subject to uncertainty, given that a sample is only part of the wider population. A credible interval gives an indication of the uncertainty of an estimate from data analysis. 95% credible intervals are calculated so that there is a 95% probability of the true value lying in the interval.
  5. The denominators used for vaccinations are the total people in the sample at that particular time point, then post-stratified by the mid-year population estimate.
  6. Our estimates of vaccination are provided for context alongside our antibodies estimates but are likely to be different from the official figures. The daily official government figures provide the recorded actual numbers of vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 issued.
  7. The number of deaths involving COVID-19 decreased or was similar in the majority of the five-year age groups in the week ending 11 June 2021, compared with the week before.

COVID-19 mortality rate decreased for fourth consecutive month

18 June 2021

Mortality rates due to coronavirus (COVID-19) continued to decrease in May 2021.

This mortality rate accounts for the size and age structure of the population and is called the “age-standardised mortality rate” (ASMR).

In May 2021, the ASMR of deaths due to COVID-19 was 7.1 deaths per 100,000 people in England, (compared with 20.6 in April 2021) and 5.2 deaths per 100,000 in Wales (compared with 12.6 in April 2021).

Provisional data show a total of 35,401 deaths registered in England in May 2021. This was 14,021 fewer deaths than in May 2020 and 4,252 deaths fewer than the five-year average (2015 to 2019).

May 2021 was also the second month where deaths in England were below the five-year average (10.7% lower) since August 2020.

In Wales in May 2021, there were 2,416 deaths registered, 271 deaths (10.1%) fewer than the May average.

The leading cause of death in both England and Wales in May 2021 was ischaemic heart diseases (10.7% and 12.4% of all deaths respectively). This compares with COVID-19 as a leading cause of death in 0.9% of all deaths registered in May in England and 0.6% of all deaths in Wales.

The risk of coronavirus infection after vaccination is highest during the first 21 days then decreases

17 June 2021

Among adult participants in the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey, the risk of new infection after a first vaccination is highest during the 21 days following their jab, but then it strongly decreases.

In unadjusted analyses, the risk of infection increased following first vaccination, peaking at around 16 days, followed by a strong decrease to around one month, with a slow but continuous decline.

Adult participants aged under 40 years had an increased risk of positivity post vaccination than older age groups.

Those working in patient-facing healthcare roles and in care homes, living in larger households, or in areas of greater deprivation also had higher rates of positivity following vaccination.

The analyses apply only to participants in the survey and have not been adjusted to be representative of the population or infection rates at the time.

Infection following vaccination shows a non-linear relationship with age, with risk increasing particularly in adults aged under 40 years

Relationship between age at visit and risk of positivity after vaccination by hazard ratio against the reference category of age 60 years, 1 December 2020 to 31 May 2021, UK

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Download risk of positivity after vaccination by hazard ratio compared with age 60 years (XLSX,22KB)

Notes:
  1. All estimates are subject to uncertainty, given that a sample is only part of the wider population.
  2. A confidence interval gives an indication of the degree of uncertainty of an estimate, showing the precision of a sample estimate. The 95% confidence intervals are calculated so that if we repeated the study many times, 95% of the time the true unknown value would lie between the lower and upper confidence limits. A wider interval indicates more uncertainty in the estimate.

Read the analysis of positivity after vaccination

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Economy, business and jobs

The economy grew by 2.3% in April 2021

11 June 2021

Real gross domestic product (GDP) is estimated to have grown by 2.3% in March 2021, the fastest monthly growth since July 2020, as government restrictions affecting economic activity continued to ease.

The output approach to GDP shows that April’s level is 3.7% below the levels seen in February 2020, however, it is now 1.2% above its initial recovery peak in October 2020.

The service sector grew by 3.4% in April 2021, with consumer facing services re-opening in line with the easing of coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions and more pupils returning to onsite lessons.

Accommodation service activities grew by 68.6% as caravan parks and holiday lets opened up, while food and beverage service activities grew by 39.0% as pubs, restaurants and cafes were able to serve customers in outdoor seating areas.

Output in the production sector fell by 1.3% in April 2021. Within production, mining and quarrying output contracted sharply, by 15.0%, in April 2021 because of planned temporary closures for maintenance of oil field production sites.

Construction output fell by 2.0% in April 2021, following exceptionally strong growth in March. This is the first fall in construction since December 2020, when it fell by 2.2%.

Public sector borrowing in May 2021 was second highest on record after May 2020

22 June 2021

In May 2021, the public sector spent more than it received in taxes and other income requiring it to borrow £24.3 billion, the second-highest May borrowing on record.

The public sector is still borrowing a substantial amount to support the economy. While May’s borrowing was only around a half of that in May last year, it was still more than four times that of May 2019.

Central government receipts were estimated to have increased by £7.5 billion in May 2021 compared with May 2020, reaching £56.9 billion. Of these receipts, taxes were £41.4 billion, £6.0 billion more than in May last year and broadly in line with those of May 2019.

Central government bodies were estimated to have spent £75.6 billion on day-to-day activities (referred to as current expenditure) in May 2021, £10.6 billion less than a year earlier but £17.3 billion more than in May 2019. Of this, the cost of the government’s coronavirus job support schemes in May, scheduled to close in September 2021, was £5.2 billion, £11.7 billion less than a year earlier.

In the financial year ending (FYE) March 2021 (April 2020 to March 2021), the UK public sector borrowed £299.2 billion, reduced by £4.0 billion from April’s first provisional estimate but still the highest annual borrowing since records began in FYE March 1946. Official forecasts suggest that borrowing could reach £233.9 billion in FYE March 2022.

Expressed as a ratio of gross domestic product (GDP), public sector net borrowing in FYE March 2021 was 14.3%, the highest such ratio since the end of World War Two, when it was 15.2% in FYE March 1946.

The recent substantial increase in borrowing has led to a sharp increase in public sector net debt, which currently stands at 99.2% of GDP, the highest ratio since the 99.5% recorded in March 1962.

Retail sales fell 1.4% with declines in food and online spending amid easing of coronavirus restrictions

18 June 2021

Retail sales volumes fell for the first time between April and May 2021 after three consecutive months of growth, with the largest month-on-month declines among food retailers as hospitality reopened.

The 1.4% fall in overall volumes in Great Britain followed sharp rises in retail sales in April, corresponding with the relaxation of retail restrictions.

Food stores and non-store retailers saw falls in total sales volumes in May of 5.7% and 4.2% respectively as both sectors were affected by the easing of restrictions for hospitality and non-essential retail.

Non-food stores continued to report monthly sales volumes growth of 2.3% in May 2021 following growth of 25.6% in April. It signals the continued recovery of one of the sectors most affected by physical store closures during the coronavirus pandemic.

Online spending decreased by 5.7% between April and May, with all sectors, except food stores, reporting monthly falls in their online sales. Feedback from retailers suggested online sales have been affected by the easing of retail restrictions as consumers returned to physical stores.

This resulted in a decline in the proportion of retail spending online values, which fell to 28.5% from 29.8% in April 2021 – the third consecutive monthly fall in the proportion of online spending.

The proportion of spending online in May was still significantly higher than the 19.9% reported in February 2020 before the impact of the pandemic, and total retail sales in May were 9.1% higher than pre-pandemic (February 2020) levels.

Read the latest bulletin on retail sales in Great Britain

Retail footfall, eating out, and spending fell in wake of Spring Bank Holiday weekend – but remain strong

17 June 2021

In the period following the Spring Bank Holiday weekend, CHAPS-based credit and debit card spending, retail footfall, and the number of seated diners in the UK all fell following notable rises.

In the week to 14 June 2021, the seven-day average estimate of UK seated diners as a proportion of their 2019 level fell by 28 percentage points compared with the previous week’s index.

This is the second consecutive weekly fall and follows the significantly increased activity seen in recent weeks, coinciding with the easing of hospitality restrictions across the UK and the Spring Bank Holiday weekend.

Despite this, the estimate of seated diners remained high in the latest week, at 119% of the level seen in the equivalent week of 2019, according to OpenTable.

Similarly, in the week to 12 June, overall retail footfall in the UK saw a weekly decrease of 7% but was still at 82% of the level seen in the equivalent week of 2019; this is the second highest volume of retail footfall as a proportion of its 2019 level seen so far this year.

In the week to 10 June, the aggregate CHAPS-based indicator of credit and debit card purchases decreased by 7 percentage points from the previous week to 95% of its February 2020 average level.

The proportion of the UK workforce on furlough leave is at its lowest level since the coronavirus pandemic began

17 June 2021

The proportion of businesses’ workforce on furlough leave has fallen to 6.5% in late May 2021, down from 19.9% in late January 2021 and 8.1% in early May 2021 and coinciding with the easing of coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions. This is the lowest recorded proportion recorded since the pandemic began.

The proportion of UK businesses currently trading has remained stable at 87% in early June 2021, the same as in late May 2021 and the highest proportion since comparable estimates began in June 2020. A further 2% of businesses intend to restart trading in the next two weeks according to the Business Insights and Conditions Survey (Wave 32).

In terms of trade, the proportion of currently trading businesses experiencing a challenge in importing and exporting increased from December 2020 until January 2021, to over 50%, and has remained broadly stable since then. A greater proportion of businesses are experiencing challenges in importing than in exporting.

April 2021 saw UK’s average house price decrease after reaching a record level in March 2021

16 June 2021

The UK’s average house price increased by 8.9% over the year to stand at £251,000 in April 2021, down from a peak of £256,000 in March 2021.

The temporary changes to Stamp Duty, Land and Buildings Transaction Tax and Land Transaction Tax, introduced because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, may have allowed sellers to request higher prices as buyers’ overall costs are reduced. Because these changes were initially due to conclude at the end of March, it’s likely this inflated last month's figures as buyers rushed to ensure their house purchases were scheduled to complete ahead of this deadline.

Private rental prices paid by tenants in the UK rose by 1.2% in the 12 months to May 2021, unchanged since the 12 months to April 2021. The beginning of 2021 has seen a slowdown in rental price growth, which has been driven by prices in London.

London’s rental price growth in May 2021 (negative 0.1%) is lower than any other English region. This may reflect both a decrease in demand, such as remote working shifting housing preferences meaning workers no longer need to be close to their offices, and an increase in supply, such as an excess supply of rental properties as short-term lets change to long-term lets.

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People and social impacts

Fewer adults reported maintaining social distancing

18 June 2021

The proportion of adults who said they always or often maintained social distancing with people outside their household fell slightly to 66% in the week ending 13 June 2021, down from 68% the week before. This figure was 88% in the week 24 to 28 March, before the easing of lockdown restrictions around social contact in England at the end of March 2021.

A similar pattern was seen in those who reported avoiding physical contact when outside their household. Just over 7 in 10 (71%) adults avoided physical contact this week, similar to the 72% last week and down from 87% in the period from 24 to 28 March.

The proportion of adults meeting up with someone outside of their household, childcare, or support bubble appeared to fall in the past seven days compared with last week. This may have been because of people returning to work following half-term school holidays in parts of England and Wales. Meeting up outdoors fell slightly from 65% last week to 63%, and meeting indoors fell from 50% to 46%.

Measures of personal well-being remained relatively stable; happiness was at 7.2 out of 10 (7.3 last week). This week's happiness level is equal to the pre-lockdown level recorded in February 2020. Anxiety (3.7 this week, 3.6 last week) and life satisfaction (7.1 this week, 7.0 last week) were also relatively stable but remained below pre-pandemic levels.

Happiness levels are now similar to pre-pandemic levels

Adults in Great Britain, March 2020 to June 2021

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Wellbeing indicators measured from March 2020 to June 2021 (XLSX, 37KB)

Notes:
  1. Questions: "Overall, how satisfied are you with your life nowadays?", "Overall, to what extent do you feel that the things you do in your life are worthwhile?", "Overall, how happy did you feel yesterday?", "Overall, how anxious did you feel yesterday?".
  2. These questions are answered on a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 is "not at all" and 10 is "completely".
  3. Base: all adults.

Around one-third of people who were told to self-isolate after contact tracing report having symptoms

18 June 2021

Between 1 and 5 June 2021, around one-third (35%) of people in England identified as having been in contact with someone who tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) reported experiencing symptoms.

This is significantly higher than seen in two previous surveys. Between 4 and 8 May 2021, 21% of respondents reported having symptoms, while between 19 and 24 April it was 26%.

The majority (87%) of those who had contact with a positive COVID-19 case fully adhered to self-isolation requirements throughout their isolation period, data collected from 1 to 5 June 2021 show.

However, this was significantly lower than the results of the two previous surveys (93% between 4 and 8 May 2021 and 92% between 19 and 24 April 2021).

Since December 2020, there has been a legal duty in England to self-isolate for 10 days if you live in the same household as a person who has symptoms of the coronavirus or if you have been in close contact, but do not live with, a person who has tested positive for COVID-19.

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User requests

We continue to respond 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.

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