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Gloucestershire Business News

Coronavirus will not stop census insists ONS

The UK census will go ahead in March as planned, despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The Office of National Statistics, which said postponing the survey would cost around £360million, said it would provide regular tests and PPE for the 30,000 workers who will visit homes.

The census takes place every 10 years with this year's national survey scheduled for March 21.

The ONS hopes more than 75 per cent of UK households will complete the census survey online.

Head of census Pete Benton said the impact of coronavirus and Brexit made it more important to conduct the census this year.

He told the Guardian: "Understanding where we are now as a nation really is fundamental to how we plan our way forward and how we plan our way forward and how we monitor progress.

"It's critical to understand who we are and the census will paint that picture."

The ONS said the census had been designed as digital first or over the phone, with workers only needed to visit homes after the due date without entering homes.

It said late March was the right time to conduct the census as it provided sufficient hours of daylight for field officers and avoided key holiday periods.

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