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Coronavirus (COVID-19) roundup: 21 August 2020

ONS published the latest results from the infection survey, as well as indicators of the social impacts of COVID-19. ONS also published the latest retails sales and public sector borrowing figures. Some of the main points include:

  • The volume of retail sales is now 3.0% higher than before the pandemic, having increased by 3.6% on a monthly basis in July 2020

  • The proportion of money spent online was 28.9% in July, compared with 20.0% in February; however, this was down compared with June (31.9%)

  • Public sector borrowing in the first four months of the current financial year (April to July 2020) has reached £150.5 billion, around three times the £56.6 billion borrowed in the whole of the last financial year (April 2019 to March 2020)

  • The need for the extra funding required to support the government’s COVID-19 relief schemes has pushed debt (excluding public banks) to over £2 trillion for the first time, equivalent to 100.5% of GDP (the highest debt ratio since the financial year ending March 1961)

  • Just over a third (34%) of people who left their homes this week had done so to visit a pub, restaurant or café, an increase from 1 in 10 (10%) during the period covering 8 July to 12 July 2020 

  • 11% of adults said they had used the government’s “Eat Out to Help Out” scheme, with a further 41% saying they would be likely or very likely to use it in the coming weeks

  • An estimated 24,600 people in the community in England had COVID-19 between 7 and 13 August 2020 (0.05% of the community population)

Read the roundup