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26 May

COVID-19 has created a range of real concerns for Britain’s population. Across the country 80% of adults are worried about the effect that COVID-19 is having on their life.


The level of concern varied from 76% in the East Midlands and in Scotland, to 87% in the North East. People aged 16 to 34 years in the North East were particularly worried, according to latest figures from the ONS.


In London, three out of every five workers said that they worked from home in April 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic; this was higher than the other countries and regions, with workers in the East of England and East Midlands being least likely to work from home.


People in Wales were most likely to have access to a private garden, while people in London had least access, but Londoners compensated by being the most likely to visit a park or public green space, with people in Wales being least likely.


People in London had the lowest awareness of the government’s Stay at home guidelines in April; awareness was highest in the West Midlands.

The most neighbourly area was the South West, where 64% of people checked on their neighbours at least once in April, compared with London where 48% had checked at least once.


In Scotland and the North East, around half of people thought their household finances would remain the same in the coming 12 months, whereas people in London and the South East were more pessimistic, with almost half (48%) saying they expect their household finances to worsen.


“Levels of worry and concern are high across all countries and regions, with many of us keeping in touch with families and friends, but we also find differences in how lockdown has affected people around Great Britain.


“People in London were more likely to be working from home, with those in the East and East Midlands least likely, for example. Those in Scotland and the North East were most optimistic about their household finances.


People in the South West have been most likely to check on their neighbours. We also found that people in Wales tend to have access to a garden, unlike Londoners, who were more likely to use public parks,” said James Harris, Cities Statistician, Office for National Statistics


When asked whether they feel like they have enough information about what the coronavirus (COVID-19) is, 87% of people said they did, with people in London apparently being the least aware, at 84%, and people in the South West being the most aware, at 89%. However, there was fairly equal awareness across all countries and regions.


Official government advice during April was that people should self-isolate if they or someone in their household suspected experiencing symptoms related to COVID-19.


Almost one-third of people lived with someone who self-isolated because of the coronavirus pandemic in April, with slightly more people doing so in the West Midlands (39%), Wales (37%) and Scotland (35%) and slightly fewer in the East Midlands and in Yorkshire and The Humber (29% each).


Although people may have felt symptoms or chose to self-isolate, this does not necessarily mean they had actually contracted COVID-19.


Worry and reasons for worrying


Across Great Britain, 8 in 10 adults (80%) said they were somewhat worried or very worried about the effect that the coronavirus pandemic was having on their life during April.


This varied from 76% in the East Midlands and in Scotland, to 87% in the North East.


People aged 16 to 34 years were comparatively less worried than older age groups, where notably fewer people aged 16 to 34 years were worried or very worried (67%) in the East of England, South East and East Midlands compared with the 74% national average.


However, people aged 16 to 34 years in the North East were the most worried group of all, with 94% of them being worried or very worried.


People who reported being worried or very worried were asked what their main concern was about the effect that the coronavirus pandemic had on their life.


This varied between countries and regions, where we saw people in London being the most concerned about their health, well-being or access to care (30%) and people in Yorkshire and The Humber being the most likely to mention work, school or university (29%).


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