Headline figures

  • An estimated 568,100 people in the community in England had COVID-19 between 17 and 23 October 2020 (1.04% of the community population). Analysis | Data
  • The number of deaths involving COVID-19 registered in England and Wales in the week ending 16 October 2020 (Week 42) was 670 (6.4% of all deaths in that week). Analysis | Data
  • The percentage of adults in Great Britain that said their well-being was being affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak was 49% between 21 October and 25 October 2020. Analysis | Data
  • According to the latest Business Impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) Survey, nearly half (47%) of currently trading UK businesses reported that their turnover had decreased below what is normally expected for this time of year. Analysis | Data
  • Monthly gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 2.1% in August 2020 but is 9.2% lower than the February 2020 level. Analysis | Data
  • The UK unemployment rate for the three months to August 2020 was 4.5%; this is 0.6 percentage points higher than a year earlier and 0.4 percentage points higher than the previous quarter. Analysis | Data
  • In September 2020 retail sales volumes increased by 1.5% when compared with August; this is the fifth consecutive month of growth, resulting in an increase of 5.5% when compared with February's pre-pandemic level. Analysis | Data

This page is a summary of insights from our most recent analysis and will be updated as new publications are released.

Sign up to our email alerts for daily updates in your inbox, or view analysis by theme in our roundups of deaths and health, the economy and the social impacts of COVID-19.

This page was last updated at 12:00 on 30 October 2020.

30 October 2020

Number of COVID-19 infections continues to increase across UK

The number of people with the coronavirus (COVID-19) in England has risen to around 568,100 in the most recent week, or around 1 in 100 people.

There has been growth in infection rates in all age groups over the past two weeks; older teenagers and young adults continue to have the highest current rates while rates appear to be steeply increasing among secondary school children.

By English region, the highest infection rates continue to be in the North West and Yorkshire and The Humber. Rates in the North East have levelled off.

Infection rates highest in North West and Yorkshire and The Humber

Estimated percentage of the population testing positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19) on nose and throat swabs, daily, by region since 12 September 2020, England

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  1. All results are provisional and subject to revision.

  2. These statistics refer to infections reported in the community, by which we mean private households. These figures exclude infections reported in hospitals, care homes and/or other institutional settings.

  3. The modelled estimates are presented at the reference value for a region which is the East Midlands. This does not affect the overall trend over time, but estimated probabilities for other regions would vary in level.

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Infections in Wales have continued to increase to an estimated 26,100 people, or 1 in 120 people during the most recent week of the study, up to 23 October 2020.

In Northern Ireland, during the most recent week (17 to 23 October 2020), we estimate 24,300 people had COVID-19, or 1 in 80 people. In Scotland, we estimate that 37,400 people in Scotland or 1 in 140 had COVID-19 in the last two weeks.

Read our Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey bulletin for more information.

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30 October 2020

Working patterns varied by level of local restrictions

The proportion of working adults who worked from home in the last week varied by levels of coronavirus (COVID-19) local restrictions.

According to the latest Opinions and Lifestyle (OPN) Survey, the proportion of working adults in England who worked from home in the last week in a tier 2 area was 46% compared with 42% in tier 3 and 37% in tier 1. Trends were similar for those who worked from home exclusively. Of working adults living in tier 2 areas, 34% said they worked from home exclusively, for tier 3 it was 33% and tier 1 24%.

In Scotland and Wales, similar trends were seen this week with the proportion of working adults who worked from home being higher for those in a local lockdown area. Of those living in a local lockdown area, 39% had worked from home compared with 31% of those who did not live in one. However, for those working from home exclusively, there was no change regardless of lockdown tier.

The OPN this week asked respondents about where they got their news from. Adults in England were most likely to go to television news to get information about their COVID-19 alert level, followed by the NHS COVID-19 app.

This week’s OPN saw the sample size of survey respondents triple in England. The increased survey sample size will allow us to explore additional breakdowns in future weeks, including more detailed demographics, as well as a regional breakdown.

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29 October 2020

Nearly half of businesses trading at below expected levels

Nearly half (47%) of businesses currently trading in the UK reported that their turnover decreased below what is usually expected for this time of year.

In the latest Business Impacts of Coronavirus (COVID-19) Survey (BICS), currently trading businesses were asked about their cash reserves; 4% of businesses said that they had no cash reserves, 39% said that they had less than six months, and 35% said that they had more than six months. 22% were unsure how long their cash reserves would last.

Online job adverts increased for the seventh consecutive week, from 66% to 70% of their 2019 average between 16 and 23 October 2020. According to Adzuna, this is the highest recorded level since 27 March 2020.

Between 16 and 23 October 2020, total online job adverts increased for the seventh consecutive week from 66% to 70% of their 2019 average, the highest recorded level since 27 March 2020

Total weekly job adverts on Adzuna, UK, 4 January 2019 to 23 October 2020, index 2019 average = 100

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  1. The observations were collected on a roughly weekly basis; however, before June 2020 they were not all observed at the same point in each week, leading to slightly irregular gaps between some observations.
  2. These series have a small number of missing weeks, mostly in late 2019, and the latest is in January 2020. These values have been imputed using linear interpolation. The data points that have been imputed are clearly marked in the accompanying dataset.
  3. Further category breakdowns are included in the Online job advert estimates dataset, and more details on the methodology can be found in Using Adzuna data to derive an indicator of weekly vacancies.

Footfall in Wales fell to a quarter of its level in the same period a year ago on the weekend 24 to 25 October 2020, according to data from Springboard.

Of the 10 regions covered by the data, 6 saw footfall decrease. The largest decreases were seen in Northern Ireland (which introduced additional restrictions on 16 October) and Wales (which introduced a national lockdown on 23 October).

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28 October 2020

Crime decreased at height of lockdown

There has been a 19% decrease in the number of victims of crime in England and Wales between April and June 2020, compared with the same period in 2019.

Statistics from the Telephone-operated Crime Survey for England and Wales (TCSEW) show that the decrease in overall crime, during the height of the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown, was largely driven by a 30% drop in thefts overall, compared with the previous quarter in 2020.

The lockdown, which was implemented at the end of March 2020, prompted a societal change, in that people were staying at home, making it difficult for theft crimes to be committed.

Total police recorded crime decreased by 4% in England and Wales to approximately 5.8 million offences in the 12 months ending June 2020; the annual decrease was mainly driven by substantial falls during the April to June 2020 period, particularly in theft offences.

The quarter from April to June 2020 also saw a 43% drop in theft offences and a 47% drop in robberies, compared with April to June 2019. This reflects the increase in time people spent at home during the lockdown, reducing opportunities for theft in public spaces, and the closure of the night-time economy.

By contrast, recorded drug offences rose by 30% in April to June 2020 (57,132 offences) compared with April to June 2019. This reflected proactive police activity in crime hotspots and was largely driven by offences involving the possession of drugs.

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27 October 2020

Deaths involving COVID-19

There were 670 deaths involving the coronavirus (COVID-19) in England and Wales in the week ending 16 October 2020, the highest weekly figure since the week ending 19 June 2020.

However, this remains below numbers seen at the peak of the pandemic, and accounts for just 6.4% of all deaths in the latest week.

By region, the highest number of COVID-19 deaths was reported in the North West (229 deaths), followed by the North East (93) and Yorkshire and the Humber (87).

The total number of deaths across England and Wales in the week ending 16 October 2020 was 10,534 (above the five-year average for the ninth time in the past ten weeks).

Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 54,325 COVID-19 deaths registered in England and Wales, up to 16 October 2020 (29,969 men and 24,356 women).

The majority of deaths involving COVID-19 have been among people aged 65 years and over (48,530 out of 54,325).

Our data are based on deaths registered in England and Wales and include all deaths where “COVID-19” was mentioned on the death certificates. We have published a summary of where you can find data on COVID-19 infection rates and deaths for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

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27 October 2020

Characteristics of people testing positive for coronavirus (COVID-19)

Analysis of the characteristics of people in the community who tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19) has shown a higher percentage of people reporting symptoms at or around the time of their test in recent weeks, compared with a low point in the summer months.

From 28 September to 11 October 2020, 34% of participants in the Office for National Statistics (ONS) Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey who tested positive for COVID-19 reported any evidence of symptoms at the time of the test. A smaller proportion of those who tested positive, 24%, reported experiencing a cough, fever or anosmia (loss of taste or smell) at the time of the test.

Overall, during late June to late July, very few people who tested positive reported any evidence of symptoms at the time of their positive test (as low as 0%), compared with up to 38% at other times.

A similar pattern can be observed for the proportion of those who tested positive and who reported experiencing symptoms around the time of their positive test, rather than just on the day of the positive test.

From 28 September to 11 October 2020, 45% of those who tested positive for COVID-19 reported any evidence of symptoms around the time of the test, with 33% of those experiencing cough, fever or anosmia (loss of taste or smell) around the time of the test. Again, very few people reported any evidence of symptoms around the time of their test between late June and late July.

Analysis of the age, rural or urban location by region and travel behaviour of those testing positive for COVID-19 is also presented in Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey: characteristics of people testing positive for COVID-19 in England, October 2020.

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23 October 2020

Monthly mortality analysis, September 2020

Mortality rates for deaths in September 2020 due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) have increased for the first time since the peak in April 2020.

Our monthly mortality analysis of provisional death registration data in England and Wales in September 2020 shows there were 39,827 deaths registered in England, 2,568 deaths more than the five-year average for September; in Wales, there were 2,610 deaths registered, 135 deaths more than the five-year average.

The leading cause of death in September 2020 was dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in England (accounting for 11.2% of all deaths) and in Wales (11.1% of all deaths). The coronavirus (COVID-19) did not feature in the top 10 leading causes of death in September 2020, neither in England nor in Wales.

Age-standardised mortality rates (ASMRs) are used for comparisons over time rather than numbers of deaths, as ASMRs account for changes to the population size and age structure.

The ASMR of deaths in September 2020 due to COVID-19 was 12.6 per 100,000 persons in England, and in Wales the ASMR was 10.8 per 100,000 persons; in England, for the first time since April 2020, the COVID-19 mortality rate significantly increased, compared with the previous month.

Since September 2003, overall mortality rates in England for the month of September had been decreasing, to a low in September 2018. However, the overall mortality rate significantly increased in September 2019 and in September 2020. Mortality rates in Wales show a similar pattern over time.

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23 October 2020

Retail sales see fifth consecutive month of growth

Retail sales volumes increased by 1.5% in September 2020, compared with August; this is the fifth consecutive month of growth, resulting in an increase of 5.5% when compared with February’s pre-pandemic level. While non-food store sales have seen an increase, fuel and clothing sales are still below their February level, as fewer people travel to work.

In September, fuel was the only main retail sector with sales volumes still below February levels, as many continued to work from home. While non-food store sales as a whole recovered to above February’s levels, clothing sales volumes were also still 12.7% below February. In contrast, household goods stores sales volumes have increased to 11% above February’s levels.

In September, volume sales within non-store retailing were 36.6% higher than in February, as consumers continued to carry out much of their shopping online.

Food and non-store retailing were at higher levels in February, while fuel remained lower than February 2020

Volume sales, seasonally adjusted, Great Britain, September 2017 to September 2020

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In the three months to September, retail sales volumes increased by 17.4% when compared with the previous three months; this is the biggest quarterly increase on record as sales picked up from record-low levels experienced earlier in the year.

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22 October 2020

Average house prices continued to rise in July 2020

The UK’s average house prices increased by 2.5%, to £239,000, over the year to August 2020, up from 2.1% in July 2020; this is £6,000 higher than last year.

Average house prices increased by 2.8% in England, 2.7% in Wales and 0.6% in Scotland over the year to August 2020. In Northern Ireland, average house prices increased by 3.0% over the year to Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2020.

During July 2020, changes were made to Stamp Duty Land Tax, Land Transaction Tax and Land and Buildings Transaction Tax. The UK House Price Index (HPI) is based on completed housing transactions. Typically, a house purchase can take six to eight weeks to reach completion. Therefore, the price data feeding into the August 2020 UK HPI will mainly reflect those agreements that occurred before the tax changes took place.

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21 October 2020

Impact of Eat Out to Help Out on prices

Last month’s prices release revealed that the 12-month inflation rate – measured by the Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH) – had fallen to 0.5% in August 2020, the lowest since December 2015.

This was mostly driven by lower prices in restaurants and cafés, as a result of the Eat Out to Help Out scheme and the temporary reduction of Value Added Tax (VAT) from 20% to 5% for firms in the hospitality sector.

In the absence of Eat Out to Help Out and the VAT reduction, our analysis estimates that the inflation rate would have been approximately 0.9% in August, compared with the actual rate of 0.5%. Most of this difference comes from Eat Out to Help Out.

Under the scheme, participating restaurants could offer a 50% discount on food and non-alcoholic beverages consumed on the premises from Monday to Wednesday, up to the value of £10 per person, with the remaining 50% paid by the government.

UK restaurants made claims for around 100 million covers during August, to the value of £522 million. By region, the average discount per meal ranged from £5.17 in the South West to £6.36 in London.

Comparing card transaction data from the fintech Revolut for August with the rest of and before the lockdown, we can see how consumer behaviour responded to the Eat Out to Help Out scheme. There are normally fewer transactions at the beginning of the week, rising gradually from Monday to Thursday, and considerably more transactions on Friday and Saturday.

The average for August, when Eat Out to Help Out was running, showed a flattening of this trend with a higher than usual proportion of transactions earlier in the week (Monday to Wednesday) and a lower proportion than usual at the weekend. This suggests that the discount offered earlier in the week may have incentivised some people to eat out on days when they otherwise would not have.

The proportion being spent on Monday to Wednesday was also higher during August than at other periods, despite a 50% discount being in effect. This may partly reflect a change in the type of purchases being made at this time with a shift towards sit-down meals.

For the latest inflation data, read our bulletin for September 2020.

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21 October 2020

Public sector borrowing

Today’s public sector finance figures reflect the ongoing unprecedented impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown and the government’s support for individuals and businesses.

UK borrowing was £36.1 billion in September 2020, nearly five times the £7.7 billion borrowed in September 2019 but broadly in line with the £33.6 billion market expectation.

Central government tax receipts were £37.7 billion in September 2020 (on a national accounts basis), £6.0 billion less than in September 2019, with large falls in Value Added Tax (VAT), business rates and Corporation Tax receipts.

Central government bodies spent £77.8 billion in September 2020 on day-to-day activities (current expenditure), £18.1 billion more than in September 2019, including nearly £5.9 billion on its job furlough schemes.

Provisional estimates indicate borrowing in the first six months of the financial year-to-September 2020 have reached £208.5 billion, more than three times the £54.5 billion borrowed in the whole of 2019 to 2020.

The need for the extra funding required to support the government’s coronavirus relief schemes combined with a fall in gross domestic product (GDP) has helped push debt at the end of September 2020 to 103.5% of GDP, the highest debt ratio since the financial year ending March 1960.

Today’s data highlight the emerging fiscal impact of the coronavirus pandemic but will be prone to material future revisions, and it will take many months before the true scale of the shock becomes clear.

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20 October 2020

Deaths in private homes

We have provided detailed analysis of deaths that occurred in private homes in England and Wales during the pandemic.

There were 108,842 deaths in private homes in England registered from 28 December 2019 to 11 September 2020, and 7,440 deaths in private homes in Wales in the same period.

This was 25,472 deaths more than the five-year average in England and 1,624 deaths more than the five-year average in Wales.

The number of deaths in private homes registered in England each week in 2020 was above the five-year average, with the exception of the week ending 3 January. In Wales, the number of deaths in private homes has remained above the five-year average since the week ending 20 March, with the exception of the week ending 4 September.

Males accounted for a higher percentage of excess deaths in private homes than females. People aged 70 to 89 years contributed most to the excess deaths in private homes, accounting for 58.5% of excess deaths in England and 63.6% in Wales.

Deaths in private homes for males from ischaemic heart diseases increased by 25.9% in England and 22.7% in Wales compared with the five-year average. Deaths in private homes for females from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease increased by 75.0% in England and 92.2% in Wales compared with the five-year average.

In England, between the week ending 20 March 2020 and the week ending 11 September 2020, 39.6% of all deaths occurred in hospitals, followed by private homes (27.7%) and care homes (25.9%). However, since the peak in deaths, trends have differed between places of death.

Almost 60% of excess deaths in private homes in England were of people aged 70 to 89 years

Number of deaths in private homes by sex and age, England, registered 14 March 2020 to 11 September 2020

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  1. Figures exclude deaths of non-residents.
  2. Based on date a death was registered rather than occurred.
  3. Figures for 2020 are provisional.
  4. The International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Edition (ICD-10) definitions are as follows: coronavirus (COVID-19) (U07.1 and U07.2).
  5. “Deaths involving COVID-19” refers to deaths that had COVID-19 mentioned anywhere on the death certificate, whether as an underlying cause of death or not.

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16 October 2020

User requested data

We have been responding to data requests from the public, media and government during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Responses are published in our list of user requested data.

Our subnational data page offers advice to anyone doing their own analysis on the impact of the coronavirus. It contains useful links to geographic boundaries and datasets such as population by local area.

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Weekly summary

We have summarised ONS data and analysis related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in a slide pack. This slide pack is updated weekly, with the latest version (PDF, 1.15 MB) covering data published between 19 and 23 October 2020.

This is a new product that we are continuing to develop, please send any feedback on the slides to COVID19Analysis@ons.gov.uk.

This week, we have also published thematic overview of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic between March to October 2020, exploring how our data and analysis has been able to provide insight and understanding of the impacts of the pandemic on health, society and the economy.

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  • Deaths registered weekly in England and Wales, provisional

    Provisional counts of the number of deaths registered in England and Wales, including deaths involving the coronavirus (COVID-19), by age, sex and region, in the latest weeks for which data are available.

  • Coronavirus and the social impacts on Great Britain

    Indicators from the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey covering the period 21 to 25 October 2020 to understand the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on people, households and communities in Great Britain.

  • Coronavirus and the latest indicators for the UK economy and society

    Early experimental data on the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on the UK economy and society. These faster indicators are created using rapid response surveys, novel data sources and experimental methods.

  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey, UK

    Estimates for England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. This survey is being delivered in partnership with University of Oxford, University of Manchester, Public Health England and Wellcome Trust.

  • Coronavirus and the economic impacts on the UK

    The indicators and analysis presented in this bulletin are based on responses from the voluntary fortnightly business survey, which captures businesses’ responses on how their turnover, workforce prices, trade and business resilience have been affected. These data relate to the period 21 September to 4 October 2020.