Other commentary on the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on the UK economy and society is available on the following page:Back to table of contents
Levels of concern about the coronavirus (COVID-19) continued to fall this week: 81.7% of adults said they are very worried or somewhat worried about the effect that COVID-19 is having on their life now, compared with 84.8% last week.
Of the 59.7% of key workers who said their work was being impacted by COVID-19, the most common concern was their health and safety at work.
Over 8 in 10 adults (83.5%) said they had either not left their home or only left for the permitted reasons (essential shopping, medical reasons, one form of daily exercise and key workers travelling to work) in the past seven days; this is a similar proportion to last week.
The most common reasons for key worker parents not sending their children to school was the availability of alternative care and being concerned about the health and well-being of the child.
This weekly bulletin contains data and indicators from a new module being undertaken through the Office for National Statistics (ONS) Opinions and Lifestyle Survey (OPN) to understand the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on British society.
This release updates our statistics on how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting people's lives, within their homes, work and communities, and the impact it is having on their well-being. This week, we have included new estimates on the experiences of key workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Key workers have been identified only if a respondent has self-reported they have been given "key worker status". It has not been defined by an official list of occupations or industries in which people work.
This bulletin contains breakdowns of results for identified "at-risk" groups that have been advised to take additional precautions. This includes those aged 70 years and over, those with certain underlying health conditions, and women who are pregnant. The full list of conditions are included in the Glossary.
This bulletin presents a summary of results, with further data including confidence intervals for the estimates contained in the associated datasets. Where changes in results from previous weeks are presented in this bulletin, associated confidence intervals indicate their significance. The statistics in this publication are based on a survey of 1,430 adults (71.1% response rate) sampled through the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey (OPN), which was conducted online between 9 and 20 April 2020 (inclusive). Throughout this bulletin, "this week" refers to the period 9 to 20 April 2020 and "last week" refers to the period 3 April to 13 April 2020.Back to table of contents
This survey started collecting responses at the end of the third week of school closures and continued through the fourth week. This time also covered what would have been the Easter holiday period, so this may have affected the levels of homeschooling undertaken by parents.
Of those adults who said they had dependent children, 66.4% said they had homeschooled their child or children in the past seven days compared with 70.9% last week. This survey only asks for information from the respondent, so other people within the household may be providing the homeschooling or the dependent children in the household may be of pre-school age. This estimate should therefore not be interpreted as 33.6% of children are not being homeschooled.
A similar proportion of adults who homeschooled their child said they were confident in their abilities to homeschool their child to last week (51.2% compared with 52.0%). Nearly three in four adults (74.7%) said they had access to the resources they needed to homeschool their children well, with 66.2% saying their child or children were continuing to learn.
There were lower proportions of parents or guardians reporting negative impacts on well-being and relationships this week. 4 in 10 adults (43.5%) said homeschooling was putting a strain on their relationships in the household, a decrease from 47.9% last week.
Although schools have been closed to most pupils, they have remained open for vulnerable children and children of key workers. However, a large majority of key workers had not sent their child to school in the past seven days. This survey collection ran over the Easter period. Schools remained open during this time, but it may have affected the proportion of key workers sending their children.
The most common reasons given by key worker parents for not sending their child or children to school were the availability of alternative care (33.5%) and concern for the health and well-being of their child (29.1%).Back to table of contents
As we continue to stay at home, staying in touch with friends and family remotely remained the most popular action helping people cope while being at home. Over half of adults (56.5%) also said spending time with people they live with was helping. Watching films or using streaming services remained the most popular leisure activity, while over one in seven adults (15.0%) said learning something new was helping them cope. Over one in three adults (35.7%) said limiting the time they spent listening to or watching the news was helping.
Nearly 3 in 10 adults (28.8%) said they had visited a public green space in the past seven days, a decrease from 35.1% last week.
Feelings of community continued to increase this week. Around two in three adults (66.5%) said other local community members would support them if they needed help during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, an increase from 64.1% last week. In addition, over 8 in 10 adults (80.1%) said they thought people were doing more to help others since the COVID-19 pandemic compared with 77.9% last week. Among key workers, there was an even greater sense of community spirit with 85.6% saying they thought people were doing more to help others.
However, in the past seven days a lower proportion of adults (52.0%) said they had checked on neighbours who might need help at least once, down from 62.6% last week. Additionally, just under 3 in 10 adults (28.5%) said they had gone shopping or done other tasks for neighbours at least once, down from 37.5% last week.Back to table of contents
The proportion of adults who said their well-being was affected continued to decrease this week (45.8%) compared with last week (49.9%). The proportion remained higher for those with an underlying health condition, at 57.7%, and lower for those aged 70 years and over, at 38.2% (Figure 6). A similar proportion of key workers (46.5%) said their well-being was affected to all adults.
The most common issues affecting people’s well-being have not changed for the past two weeks of the survey. About 7 in 10 (69.3%) of those who said their well-being was being affected said they were feeling worried about the future, with two in three (65.1%) feeling stressed or anxious. Nearly half (48.4%) also said not being able to exercise as normal was impacting their well-being.
Despite over half of adults saying spending time with others they live with was helping them cope while being at home, over one in five (20.2%) of those concerned about their well-being said they were spending too much time with others in their household.
Although it is not known how many people who said their well-being was affected had mental health issues prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, over one in five (21.2%) of those whose well-being has been affected said it was making their mental health worse.
Anxiety levels, though higher than before the COVID-19 pandemic, have fallen since last week for most adults.
The full scores for the four measures of personal well-being are included in the associated datasets.
|Group||This week (%)||Last week (%)|
|Wellbeing is being affected||All adults||45.8||49.9|
|70 years and over||38.2||45.5|
|Mean anxiety score*||All adults||4.2||4.9|
|70 years and over||4.2||5.0|
|Percentage with high anxiety (score 6-10)*||All adults||35.7||46.4|
|70 years and over||34.6||49.8|
|Feeling lonely often or always||All adults||3.8||5.8|
|70 years and over||3.5||3.6|
|Feeling lonely some of the time||All adults||16.7||20.5|
|70 years and over||13.9||10.9|
Download this table Table 1: Indicators of well-being.xls .csv
Underlying health condition
In this bulletin, adults with an underlying health condition include those with: Alzheimer’s disease or dementia; angina or long-term heart problem; asthma; autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or Asperger’s (Asperger syndrome); cancer; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or long-term lung problem; diabetes; epilepsy or other conditions that affect the brain; high blood pressure; kidney or liver disease; stroke or cerebral haemorrhage or cerebral thrombosis; and rheumatoid arthritis. This also includes pregnant women.
Questions about homeschooling are asked when the responding individual has a dependent child in their household. A dependent child is defined as someone who is under the age of 16 years or someone who is aged 16 to 18 years, has never been married and is in full-time education.
For this survey, a person is said to be “In employment” if they had a paid job, either as an employee or self-employed; they did any casual work for payment; or they did any unpaid or voluntary work in the previous week.
Key workers have been identified if a respondent has self-reported they have been given “key worker status” only. It has not been defined by an official list of occupations or industries in which people work.Back to table of contents
The Opinions and Lifestyle Survey (OPN) is a monthly omnibus survey. In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we have adapted the OPN to become a weekly survey used to collect data on the impact of COVID-19 on day-to-day life in Great Britain. In this wave, 2,010 individuals were sampled, with a response rate of 71.1% (or 1,430 individuals) for the survey conducted from 9 April to 20 April 2020.
The survey results are weighted to be a nationally representative sample for Great Britain, and data are collected using an online self-completion questionnaire. Individuals who did not complete the survey online were given the opportunity to take part over the phone.
More quality and methodology information on strengths, limitations, appropriate uses, and how the data were created is available in the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey QMI.
A sample of 2,010 households were randomly selected from the Annual Population Survey (APS), which consists collectively of those respondents who successfully completed the last wave of the Labour Force Survey (LFS) or the local LFS boost. From each household, one adult was selected at random but with unequal probability. Younger people were given higher selection probability than older people because of under-representation in the sample available for the survey. Further information on the sample design can be found in the OPN QMI.
The responding sample contained 1,430 individuals (71.1% response rate). Survey weights were applied to make estimates representative of the population.
Weights were first adjusted for non-response and attrition. Subsequently, the weights were calibrated to satisfy population distributions considering the following factors: sex by age, region, tenure, highest qualification, employment status, National Statistics Socio-economic Classification (NS-SEC) group and smoking status. For age, sex and region, population totals based on projections of mid-year population estimates for April 2020 were used. The resulting weighted sample is therefore representative of the Great Britain adult population by a number of socio-demographic factors and geography.Back to table of contents
The main strengths of the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey (OPN) include:
it allows for timely production of data and statistics that can respond quickly to changing needs
it meets data needs: the questionnaire is developed with customer consultation, and design expertise is applied in the development stages
robust methods are adopted for the survey’s sampling and weighting strategies to limit the impact of bias
quality assurance procedures are undertaken throughout the analysis stages to minimise the risk of error
The main limitations of the OPN include:
the sample size is relatively small: 2,010 individuals per week with fewer completed interviews, meaning that detailed analyses for subnational geographies and other sub-groups are not possible
comparisons between periods and groups must be done with caution as estimates are provided from a sample survey; as such, confidence intervals are included in the datasets to present the sampling variability, which should be taken into account when assessing differences between periods, as true differences may not exist
Contact details for this Statistical bulletin
Telephone: +44 (0)1633 65 1827