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Recent ONS information and insight

Looking back at 2020: A statistical year like no other - 18 December 2020

  • As we head towards the end of a very challenging year, analytical directors, Liz McKeown and Darren Morgan reflect on the huge efforts put in by colleagues at the ONS to from Office for National Statistics maintain, improve and develop new high-quality statistics on a scale never seen before.

  • Read the blog

Coronavirus roundup: 18 December 2020

  • The number of people with COVID-19 in England has increased, with 567,300 people estimated to have had it in the most recent week (6 to 12 December 2020); this equates to 1 in 95 people.

  • Positivity rates in Scotland and Wales are also rising – up to 1 in 100 and 1 in 90 people respectively; the rate in Northern Ireland appears to be stable (at 1 in 215 people), having fallen for several weeks in a row until the most recent week.

  • COVID-19-related hospital admissions in England increased in the most recent week to 15.2 per 100,000 people, from 14 per 100,000 in the previous week.

  • Nearly 8 in 10 adults (78%) surveyed between 10 and 13 December 2020 would be very likely or fairly likely to have a vaccine for COVID-19 if they were offered it.

  • Meanwhile, around 1 in 6 adults said they felt it would be difficult or very difficult to follow government rules over the Christmas period.

  • Retail sales volumes decreased by 3.8% on a monthly basis in November 2020, as many stores were forced to close for at least part of the month. 

  • Despite the monthly fall, overall sales remained above their pre-pandemic levels and were higher than the same month in 2019, with feedback from businesses suggesting that consumers had brought forward Christmas spending.

  • Read the roundup