This page contains data and analysis published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) from 3 to 7 August 2020. Go to our live page for the most up-to-date insights on COVID-19.
7 August 2020
Business closures do not yet appear to have increased as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, according to the latest Experimental Statistics about business creation and closures. This is probably because of the time it takes for a business to close, delays in the reporting process, and government support for businesses.
The number of businesses removed from the Inter-Departmental Business Register (IDBR) (business closures) in the UK in Quarter 2 (Apr to Jun) 2020 was slightly lower than the average number of businesses removed in the past three years. Although it might be expected that more businesses would close as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, there are notable lags in the removal of a business from the IDBR, because of economic, legal and statistical processes. As such, increased business closures from the coronavirus pandemic may not yet be visible in these statistics, and may be reflected in data in subsequent quarters.
Additionally, government support to businesses and easements at Companies House (such as an extended period to file their accounts) may have prevented or postponed some business closures.
The number of business creations in the UK in Quarter 2 2020 was also slightly lower than in Quarter 2 2019. This is broadly in line with expectations for a fall in business creation resulting from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, although the decline is not that pronounced.
Business creations also slowed during the economic downturn of 2008 to 2009, and may reflect increased uncertainty, a lack of good market opportunities, or other factors that make starting a business unattractive at present.
5 August 2020
The guidance for clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) people has changed in recent weeks. This is reflected in the responses to our Shielding Behavioural Survey.
Our latest survey was carried out between 9 and 16 July. It shows more CEV people are leaving their home and receiving visitors at their home.
Almost half (48%) of CEV people report not leaving their home at all or only leaving for exercise. This is lower than the 60% of people who said the same in the previous survey between 24 and 30 June.
The percentage of CEV people receiving no visitors at their home (other than for support for personal care) has decreased in each of the past three surveys. Between 28 May and 3 June, 87% of CEV people told us they had not received visitors at their home. This fell to 83% in the next survey (9 to 18 June), then 77% in the following one (24 to 30 June).
On 6 July, guidance for CEV people shielding changed to include forming a support bubble with another household. In our latest survey, 65% of CEV people reported receiving no visitors to their home (other than support for personal care).
Fifteen percent of CEV people live with someone under the age of 16 years. A fifth of those said living with children is impacting their ability to shield.
CEV shielding workers
Over a quarter (28%) of CEV people who were advised to shield were in employment before lockdown. Of that 28% of CEV people:
- 11% continued to work outside their home
- 37% now work from home
- the remaining 52% were either furloughed, joined the self-employed income support scheme or stopped working
An estimated 38,000 (6%) CEV people who worked before lockdown said they would not return to work in the next four months. A fifth (21%) of CEV workers said they would continue to work from home for the next four months. That’s down from the 37% who said they are working at home now.
Almost one in four (23%) CEV workers said they didn’t know what their plans were for the coming four months. There is some variation in how comfortable CEV people are with returning to work outside their homes.
More than two thirds (68%) of CEV workers said they were comfortable (44%) or completely comfortable (24%) with returning to work outside their home. However, their comfort level was dependent on protective measures being in place.
In comparison, 32% of CEV workers said they are not comfortable with returning to work outside their home.