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Almost six in 10 UK adults ‘only leaving home for work, exercise and basic needs’

Chris Ison/PA Wire

By Jemma Crew, PA Social Affairs Correspondent

Almost six in 10 adults in Britain say they are staying at home and only leaving for work, exercise, essential shopping or medical needs, figures show.

Some 57% of adults said they had only left home for these basic needs – less than during the first national lockdown, when 81% said they had obeyed these stay at home measures, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

But it represents a “significant increase” compared with mid-November, when 43% said they had only left home for work, exercise, essential shopping or medical needs.

For the current and November lockdowns, people have also been able to leave home for additional reasons, including to meet their support or childcare bubble and attend education or childcare.

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic people have been allowed to leave home to avoid risk of harm, such as domestic abuse.

The restrictions over winter included a four-week lockdown in November for England, a three-week firebreak in Wales from October 23 and protection levels in place in Scotland.

From early January all three nations have been in lockdown.

The ONS analysed responses from 4,624 adults between January 27 and 31, and compared these with the results of previous surveys to see how behaviour has changed.

It found the wellbeing scores are at the lowest since the first lockdown, and people increasingly feel it will take longer for the country to recover from the pandemic and get back to normal.

Scores for life satisfaction, feeling that things done in life are worthwhile and happiness remained at some of the lowest levels recorded since March 2020.

And anxiety levels are at their highest since April.

Just 17% of adults feel life will return to normal within six months, while 29% feel this will take more than a year.

The ONS also asked about attitudes towards vaccination, and found that 91% of adults would be likely to get a coronavirus jab, and 4% unlikely.

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