Other commentary on the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on the UK economy and society is available on the following pages:
A month after lockdown measures were introduced, over 8 in 10 adults (82%) in Great Britain continue to say 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.
Over 1 in 5 adults (21%) say their relationships are being affected, with partners or spouses causing the most concern.
Expectations for when life will return to normal are getting longer: 40% of adults now think it will be longer than six months compared with 33% after the first week of lockdown.
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.
It 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. Further breakdowns by sex are included in the associated datasets.
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 should be used to assess the statistical significance of the change.
The statistics in this publication are based on a survey of 1,327 adults (66% response rate) sampled through the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey (OPN), which was conducted online between 17 and 27 April 2020 (inclusive). Throughout this bulletin, "this week" refers to the period 17 to 27 April 2020 and "last week" refers to the period 9 to 20 April 2020.Back to table of contents
This week’s survey started collecting responses four weeks after it was announced schools would close. The greatest change this week is a lower proportion of parents or guardians with dependent children reporting that homeschooling is affecting the well-being and relationships of those involved.
Of those adults who said they had dependent children, 63% said they had homeschooled their child or children in the past seven days compared with 66% 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.
Of those homeschooling, 1 in 4 adults (25%) said it was putting a strain on their relationships in the household, a decrease from 43% last week. Fewer adults also thought the well-being of their child or children was being negatively affected, down to 32% this week from 42% last week.
A smaller proportion of adults who homeschooled their child said they were confident in their abilities compared with last week (45% compared with 51%). Over 2 in 3 adults (69%) said they had access to the resources they needed to homeschool their children well, with 66% saying their child or children were continuing to learn (Figure 4).
For those that did not agree they had the resources they needed, the most common aspects affecting their child’s ability to continue learning were limited support from teachers (55%) or limited access to equipment (38%).
Although schools have been closed to most pupils, they have remained open for vulnerable children and children of key workers. A similar proportion of key workers (58%) to that of other adults said they had homeschooled their child or 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 (30%) and concern for the health and well-being of their child (27%).Back to table of contents
Responses to this survey were collected four weeks after the stay at home measures were introduced. This has impacted both the relationships with those we live with and with those we do not. However, through this month of lockdown there is no distinct trend in our relationships worsening or improving.
This week, 21% of adults said their relationships were being affected. Over the previous three weeks, this has ranged between 20% and 24%. Throughout each week, the relationship that is causing most concern is with a partner or spouse, with around half of those with affected relationships being concerned about this. Around one-third were worried about their relationship with parents and one-fifth were worried about relationships with dependent children.
Among those who say the coronavirus has affected their well-being this week, 1 in 4 (25%) said they were concerned about the strain on their relationships, just over 1 in 5 (22%) said they were spending too much time with others in their household but just under 1 in 3 (30%) said they were spending too much time alone. These proportions have been very similar over the four weeks.
As we continue to stay at home, staying in touch with friends and family remotely remained the most popular action helping people cope this week. Over half of adults (54%) also said spending time with people they live with was helping (Figure 6), again a similar proportion throughout the month of lockdown.
Feelings of community have increased over the past few weeks, but have slightly decreased this week. Just under 2 in 3 adults (64%) said other local community members would support them if they needed help during the coronavirus pandemic, a decrease from 67% last week. In addition, 8 in 10 adults (80%) said they thought people were doing more to help others since the coronavirus pandemic, similar to last week.
Among key workers, there were similar feelings of support, with 63% saying other local community members would support them if they needed help and 81% saying they thought people were doing more to help others.
In the past seven days, a higher proportion of adults (55%) said they had checked on neighbours who might need help at least once, up from 52% last week. Additionally, just over 3 in 10 adults (31%) said they had gone shopping or done other tasks for neighbours at least once, up from 29% last week.Back to table of contents
The proportion of adults who said their well-being was affected increased this week (48%) compared with last week (46%) after a downward trend for several weeks. The proportion remained higher for those with an underlying health condition, at 51%, and lower for those aged 70 years and over, at 39% (Figure 7). A similar proportion of key workers (46%) to all adults said their well-being was affected.
The most common issues affecting people’s well-being are similar to previous weeks. About 3 in 4 (75%) of those who said their well-being was being affected said they were feeling worried about the future, with over 6 in 10 (63%) feeling stressed or anxious and over half (53%) feeling bored. Over 4 in 10 (43%) also said not being able to exercise as normal was impacting their well-being.
Although it is not known how many people who said their well-being was affected had mental health issues prior to the coronavirus pandemic, over 3 in 10 (31%) of those whose well-being has been affected said it was making their mental health worse, an increase from 21% last week.
Anxiety levels, though higher than before the coronavirus pandemic, remain largely similar to 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||48||46|
|70 years and over||39||38|
|Mean anxiety score*||All adults||4.2||4.2|
|70 years and over||4||4.2|
|Percentage with high anxiety (score 6-10)*||All adults||37||36|
|70 years and over||33||35|
|Feeling lonely often/always||All adults||6||4|
|70 years and over||2||4|
|Feeling lonely some of the time||All adults||16||17|
|70 years and over||13||14|
Download this table.xlsx .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 the coronavirus on day-to-day life in Great Britain. In this wave, 2,010 individuals were sampled, with a response rate of 66% (or 1,327 individuals) for the survey conducted from 17 April to 27 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.
Where changes in results from previous weeks are presented in this bulletin, associated confidence intervals, which are included in the associated datasets, indicate their significance.
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 1,327 individuals (66% 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