All indicators in this bulletin are for the period 20 to 31 October 2021 and based on adults in Great Britain.
Over 8 in 10 (83%) adults reported they wore a face covering when outside their home in the past seven days, while around 4 in 10 (39%) reported they always or often maintained social distancing when outside their home.
Among adults with a child aged 12 to 15 years living in their household, 50% reported that the child would be very likely or fairly likely to receive a coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine, with an additional 28% saying the child had already received a vaccine.
Around 9 in 10 (92%) adults who have received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine would be very likely or fairly likely to have a booster vaccine if offered.
Around 1 in 6 (17%) adults reported they had not been able to buy essential food items in the last two weeks because they were not available (16% in the previous period - 6 to 17 October), with almost 6 in 10 (57%) reporting that everything they needed had been available to buy (47% in the previous period).
Around 2 in 10 (18%) adults reported they were unable to buy fuel in the last two weeks because it was not available (37% in the previous period).
In this period, we also asked adults whether they had experienced shortages of any goods at any time in the past two weeks. Around 4 in 10 (43%) adults reported experiencing shortages (53% in the previous period).
Around 1 in 6 (17%) reported they had not been able to buy essential food because it was not available (16% in the previous period).
When food shopping, around 2 in 3 (65%) reported experiencing some differences compared with the usual. The most commonly reported differences were:
- less variety in the shops (46%)
- items needed were not available, but a replacement was found (20%)
- items needed were not available and a replacement could not be found (20%)
Around 9 in 10 (89%) adults reported their food shopping habits had not changed in the past two weeks.
Around 2 in 10 (18%) were unable to buy fuel because it was not available (37% in the previous period).
More than 4 in 10 (44%) adults reported experiencing differences when buying fuel. The most commonly reported differences were:
- queueing for longer than normal at a petrol station (24%)
- spending more than usual to get the fuel needed (20%)
- using vehicle less to avoid buying more fuel (15%)
Around 8 in 10 (82%) adults reported their fuel buying habits had not changed in the past two weeks.
Around 2 in 10 (23%) adults who had tried to buy medicine or get a prescription reported experiencing some differences compared with the usual. The most commonly reported differences were:
- having to wait longer for their prescription (13%)
- having to go to more pharmacies to find what they needed (4%)
- items needed were not available and a replacement could not be found (4%)
In this period, for the first time, we asked adults about Christmas shopping. In the past two weeks, 12% of adults bought items for Christmas that they would usually purchase later in the year, 3% of adults pre-ordered items they would usually buy or order later in the year, and 86% of adults said they had not bought or pre-ordered any items earlier than normal.
The most common items bought or pre-ordered earlier than usual for Christmas were:
- food (47%)
- toys (44%)
- clothes, shoes or accessories (33%)
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
From the period between 4 and 8 August 2021 onwards, the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey (OPN) sample size was reduced to around 5,000 households in each period to help ensure the survey remains sustainable. In this period between 20 and 31 October, we sampled 5,999 households. These were randomly selected from those that had previously completed the Labour Market Survey (LMS) or OPN. The responding sample contained 4,397 individuals, representing a 73% response rate.
Survey weights were applied to make estimates representative of the population (based on September 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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