Anxiety in the run-up to Christmas has reached its highest level since the January lockdown, provisional figures suggest. Some 38% of adults are experiencing high levels of anxiety, according to an Office for National Statistics (ONS) survey between December 15 and 19.
This is the highest proportion since January 13-17, when Britain was in its third national lockdown. The average anxiety score, which has been rising since the end of November, rose to 4.3 – the highest level since January 27-31. Happiness and life satisfaction scores fell slightly compared to the previous survey period – December 1-12.
The impact on adults
And the proportion of adults who are very or somewhat worried about the effect of Covid-19 on their lives rose to 67%, from 56% earlier in December. The latest estimates are based on a survey of 3,314 adults in Britain as part of the ONS Opinions and Lifestyle survey examining the social impacts of coronavirus.
It comes as the government enacted Plan B measures, such as making face coverings mandatory in most indoor public areas, and asking people to work from home where possible, in response to a rapid rise in Omicron cases.
The government has promised no further restrictions in England before Christmas but has not ruled out curbs after this period. The survey also asked about what people have done so far and their plans in the run-up to and during Christmas.
Safety measures for Christmas
Some 63% said they have already visited or plan to visit family or friends in their homes, 50% have hosted family and friends or are planning to, and 29% said they will meet up with others in food and drink outlets or have done already.
Measures people said they have taken or plan to take include taking a rapid result lateral flow test before seeing others (54%), visiting only well-ventilated areas (22%), wearing a face covering (73%) and socially distancing where possible (69%).
A fifth of adults (21%) say they are very or fairly unlikely to keep windows and doors open when they have visitors over the next fortnight, while 47% said they would be very or fairly likely. Reasons given include the home getting too cold (85%) and increased heating costs (44%).
Half of adults said they feel they have enough information about the UK’s plan for dealing with coronavirus, 29% said they do not and 19% said they were unsure.
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?