The Office for Statistics Regulation has undertaken a review of statistics from the Office for National Statistics’ COVID-19 Infection Survey (CIS), which remain of high value to governments and the public. Today we have written to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) to commend its work on the survey, and commitment to the Code of Practice for Statistics. 

Following the cessation of the REACT study and changes in testing regimes across the UK, statistics from the ONS COVID-19 Infection Survey are more important than ever, and are now the most up-to-date, reliable source on COVID-19 infections. They contribute to scientific advice provided to governments, informing decisions on the ongoing management of the pandemic, as well as helping people make day-to-day decisions.

Our findings include:

  • The importance of users being kept informed about development plans, including the future of the survey as the financial year ends, even if these plans are tentative and subject to change.
  • The importance of informing users about the impacts of the change in the move to digital on the statistics to support appropriate use. 
  • It is also important to consider how the CIS can be adapted to play a role in understanding public health in future.

Ed Humpherson, Director for Regulation comments: 

“There is understandably a high level of public interest in the survey – people really value the statistics and use them to make day-to-day decisions

Since we last wrote to ONS about these statistics, it is great to see how much work ONS has done to develop the statistics. We also set out our recommendations for further improvement.”

Related links:

Mark Pont to Ruth Studley: COVID-19 Infection Survey Statistics