Throughout the period 16 to 27 February 2022, based on adults in Great Britain:
There was a continuing decline in the percentage of people working from home, 15% compared with 26% over the period 6 to 16 January 2022; there was also an increase in the percentage travelling to work, 56% compared with 51% over the same period.
The use of face coverings in shops and on public transport has decreased among adults leaving home to do these activities, with 71% reporting always or often wearing face coverings while in shops (77% in the previous period) and 70% reporting wearing a face covering throughout the journey on public transport (78% in the previous period).
Almost one-third (32%) of adults reported always or often maintaining social distancing (35% in the previous period); this is the lowest proportion of adults reporting maintaining social distancing since data collection on this measure started in September 2020.
Around 4 in 10 (42%) adults reported they had taken a rapid lateral flow test in the past seven days, decreasing from 49% of adults in the previous period.
Around 4 in 10 adults (41%) reported they were very or somewhat worried about the effect of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on their lives right now; this is also the lowest since the start of the pandemic.
In this period, we also found an increase in concerns about the cost of living:
A higher percentage of adults (81%) reported that their cost of living had increased, compared with 76% in the previous period, and 62% when we first asked this (in the period 3 to 14 November 2021).
Among these adults, the most common reasons reported were an increase in the price of food (92%), an increase in gas or electricity bills (80%) and an increase in the price of fuel (76%).
The most common actions taken by those who said their cost of living had increased were to reduce spending on non-essentials (51%), shop around more (37%), use less fuel such as gas or electricity at home (37%) and reduce spending on food shopping and essentials (30%).
Around 4 in 10 adults (41%) reported they were very or somewhat worried about the effect of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on their lives right now. This is the lowest since the start of the pandemic (86% over the period 20 to 30 March 2020) and continues a gradual decrease from 66% during Plan B measures (15 December 2021 to 3 January 2022).
Levels of personal well-being remained below pre-pandemic levels:
life satisfaction (7.0 in this period; 6.9 in previous period)
feeling that the things done in life are worthwhile (7.3 in this period; 7.2 in the previous period)
happiness (7.0 in this period; 6.9 in the previous period)
anxiety (3.9 in this period; 4.0 in the previous period)
Figure 3: Levels of personal well-being remained below pre-pandemic levels
Adults in Great Britain, March 2020 to February 2022
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?" and "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.
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When asked how the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic was affecting their life in the past seven days, 15% of adults reported their household finances were being affected (same as previous period).
We asked adults about changes in their cost of living over the last month, with 81% reporting their cost of living had increased. This is a higher percentage compared with 76% in the previous period and 62% when we first asked this in the period 3 to 14 November 2021.
The most common reasons reported by adults who said their cost of living had increased were:
an increase in the price of food shopping (92%; 90% in the previous period)
an increase in gas or electricity bills (80%; 77% in the previous period)
an increase in the price of fuel (76%; 69% in the previous period)
The most common actions taken because of an increase in the cost of living were:
spending less on non-essentials (51%)
using less fuel such as gas or electricity at home (37%)
shopping around more (37%)
spending less on food shopping and essentials (30%)
When asked about their financial situation, less than 6 in 10 (59%) adults reported they were able to pay an unexpected but necessary expense of £850 (57% in the previous period).
It should be noted that there are strong seasonal spending patterns relating to gas and electricity that may affect the results presented in this section. For more information on this and recent price rises for gas and electricity please see the latest Consumer price statistics for January 2022.
Further demographic breakdowns of these estimates are available within the accompanying datasetsBack to table of contents
This release contains data and indicators from a 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.
Breakdowns by age, sex, region and country, including confidence intervals for the estimates, are contained in the Coronavirus and the social impacts on Great Britain dataset.
Where changes in results from previous weeks are presented in this bulletin, associated confidence intervals should be used to assess the statistical significance of the differences.
Sampling and weighting
In the period between 16 and 27 February 2022 we sampled 4,495 households. These were randomly selected from those that had previously completed the Labour Market Survey (LMS) or OPN. The responding sample contained 3,170 individuals, representing a 70.5% response rate.
Survey weights were applied to make estimates representative of the population (based on June 2021 population estimates). Further information on the survey design and quality can be found in the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey Quality and Methodology Information.Back to table of contents
Contact details for this Statistical bulletin
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