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Worry about impact of Covid at lowest level since start of pandemic – ONS

Worry about impact of Covid at lowest level since start of pandemic – ONS
The figures also suggest increasing numbers of adults are being hit by the cost of living crisis.

The proportion of adults worried about the impact of coronavirus on their lives has fallen to the lowest level since the start of the pandemic, figures show.

Around four in 10 adults in Britain (41%) said they were very or somewhat worried about the impact of Covid-19, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

This is down from 86% at the end of March 2020, when the first national lockdown was imposed.

And it continues a gradual decline since the Government’s Plan B measures were introduced in December amid the emergence of the rapidly-spreading Omicron variant.

But while concerns about the virus may be fading, the figures suggest increasing numbers of adults are being hit by the cost of living crisis.

Some 81% said their cost of living had increased over the past month, up from 76% in the previous survey period and 62% in November 2021.

Those affected reported a rise in food prices (92%), gas or electricity bills (80%) and fuel (77%).

More than a quarter of adults (28%) said they would be unable to afford an unexpected one-off expense of £850, and 38% said they do not think they will be able to save any money over the next year.

The ONS analysed responses from 3,170 people between February 16 and 27 as part of its Opinions and Lifestyle survey.

The survey also found that fewer adults are wearing face coverings, maintaining social distancing and taking lateral flow tests.

Around seven in 10 adults reported always or often wearing face coverings in shops or on public transport (down from 77% and 78% respectively).

A third (32%) said they were always or often maintaining social distancing – the lowest proportion since September 2020 when data on this measure was first collected.

And 42% of adults said they had taken a lateral flow test in the last week – down from 49%.