Throughout the period of 6 to 17 October 2021, based on adults in Great Britain:
Around 8 in 10 (82%) 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, 6 in 10 (60%) reported that the child would be very likely or fairly likely to receive a coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine.
Around 9 in 10 (91%) adults who have received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine would be very or fairly likely to have a booster vaccine if offered.
Around 1 in 6 (16%) adults reported they had not been able to buy essential food items because they were not available (17% in the previous period), with around 5 in 10 (47%) reporting that everything they needed had been available to buy (57% in the previous period.
Around 4 in 10 (37%) adults reported they were unable to buy fuel because it was not available (15% 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 weeks1:
around 1 in 6 (16%) reported they had not been able to buy essential food because it was not available
around 4 in 10 (37%) were unable to buy fuel because it was not available
around 1 in 4 (23%) reported they had not been able to buy other non-essential food items
around 5 in 10 (47%) reported that everything they needed had been available to buy
When asked to think about the likelihood of buying more food or fuel over the next seven days:
Around 6 in 10 (63%) reported they were very unlikely or fairly unlikely to buy more food than usual
Around 7 in 10 (69%) reported they were very unlikely or fairly unlikely to buy more fuel than usual
When food shopping, around 6 in 10 (61%) adults reported experiencing some differences compared with the usual. The most commonly reported differences were:
less variety in the shops (43%)
items needed were not available and a replacement could not be found (21%)
items needed were not available, but a replacement was found (20%)
having to go to more shops to get what was needed (13%)
Most adults (85%) reported their food shopping habits had not changed in the past two weeks; 6% reported buying more and 9% reported buying less.
Around 2 in 10 (21%) 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, but a replacement was found (3%)
items needed were not available and a replacement could not be found (3%)
Notes for: Goods shortages section
- Totals for estimates regarding adults' experiences of shortages of goods may not sum to 100% as respondents were able to choose more than one option. Please see the datasets provided with this bulletin for further detail.
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 OPN sample size was reduced to around 5,000 households in each period to help ensure the survey remains sustainable. In this period between 6 and 17 October, we sampled 5,901 households. These were randomly selected from those that had previously completed the Labour Market Survey (LMS) or OPN. The responding sample contained 4,004 individuals, representing a 68% 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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