The Office for National Statistics (ONS) weekly survey of public perceptions of coronavirus seems to be starting to reflect the roll-out of the vaccine, with the proportion of adults who felt that it will take more than a year for life to return to normal falling slightly this week (down from 29% to 27%).
There was also a corresponding increase in the number of people who feel life will return to normal with six months (up from 17% to 21% this week) but it should be noted that the number of people who are “pessimistic” still outnumber those that are “optimistic”.
This week, over the period 3 to 7 February 2021, based on adults in Great Britain:
- Compliance with most measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) remained high, with similar proportions to last week reporting always or often handwashing after returning home, using a face covering and avoiding physical contact when outside their home.
- The proportion of adults reporting staying at home or only leaving for work, exercise, essential shopping or medical needs in the past seven days was similar to last week (56% this week compared with 57% last week); this proportion has gradually decreased since mid-January although remains higher than before the introduction of national lockdowns across Great Britain in November 2020.
- Personal well-being scores for life satisfaction, feeling that things done in life are worthwhile and happiness remained at some of the lowest levels recorded since this survey began in March 2020; the anxiety score improved slightly this week compared with last week.
- The proportion of adults who felt that it will take more than a year for life to return to normal (27%) fell slightly this week (down from 29% last week) but remains higher than those who feel life will return to normal in six months or less (21% this week, up from 17% last week).
- Around 1 in 5 (22%) adults in Great Britain reported they had received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
- If mass testing were available in their area, around three-quarters (74%) of adults this week said they would be likely (very likely or fairly likely) to take part and get a test for COVID-19 even if they had no symptoms; an increase compared with last week (69%).
- Almost two-thirds (64%) of those aged 16 to 29 years reported they would be likely to take part in mass testing; this proportion was higher amongst older age groups.