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Busiest week in history for the Citizens Advice website with over 2.2 million views

24 March 2020

The charity has seen record-breaking demand for advice since the escalation of the coronavirus pandemic with the highest daily number of visitors to its website being topped four times last week. 

This web data shows a clear picture of the changing narrative of how this crisis is affecting people in the UK.

Initially, in the second week of March, the charity saw an increase in people coming to them for information on flight and accommodation cancellations. 

But at the start of last week there was a big rise in views of its new, dedicated page on coronavirus, and advice pages related to sick pay. 

While demand is still very high, the rate of these increases stabilised in the middle of the week and Citizens Advice is now starting to see an uptick in pages relating to redundancy, and benefits pages relating to income and Universal Credit.

In the middle of last week, more people started looking for advice on what to do if you can't afford to top up your prepayment meter, showing people are already worried about spiralling into debt.

Other data shows:

  • The website had 2.2 million pageviews last week, up 50% compared to the same time last year

  • Pageviews in a single day peaked on Thursday 19 March at 390,000 - a 70% increase on the previous Thursday which was already higher than usual

  • Across pages that give advice on redundancy, there were 106,000 views last week compared to 36,000 the week before and 22,000 a year ago

  • Across the pages giving advice on Universal Credit, there were 188,000 pageviews last week compared to 53,000 the week before

  • In percentage terms, the the biggest rise was on the page giving advice on if you can’t afford to top up your prepayment meter which was viewed 27,000 times last week, compared to just 1,000 the week before

Citizens Advice was founded on 4 September 1939 - the day after World War II was declared and is now a trusted household name. It’s used advances in technology over the years to expand the service to include face-to-face appointments alongside phone, email and web chat, plus the comprehensive advice on its website. 

Dame Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said:

“We are living in an extraordinary time and it’s important people know they’re not alone. We’re here to help in this time of national crisis.

“At Citizens Advice we are constantly using our data and insights to adapt our work to address the challenges people face and this won’t change. 

“This web data helps make clear the problems people are coming to us about, and what’s still needed to ensure no one is pushed into hardship due to this pandemic."


Graphs and Trends

Top 10 individual advice pages:

Pageviews (15/03 to 21/03)

% change (last week)

% change (last year)

Coronavirus - what it means for you




Check if you’re entitled to sick pay




Eligibility for ESA




Redundancy pay




You can't afford to top up your prepayment meter




Check if you can get universal credit




How the minimum income floor works if you're self employed




What benefits can I get




If your contract allows layoff or short time working




Check if you can get JSA




Pageviews of top coronavirus issues pages

Total pageviews on the website

Pageviews of the "Coronavirus - what it means for you page"

This page was published on February 28.

Please note the downward trends to the right hand side of the graphs show the usual dip on Fridays, but demand for advice is still much higher than previously.

All page views are rounded to the nearest thousand.

Notes to editors

You can find more information on coronavirus on the Citizens Advice website here

  1. The last week relates to Sunday the 15 March - Saturday 21 March

  2. The web stats measure page views of 30 seconds and over, so we do not count short visits where readers would not read the page. We exclude the advisors in our network who are logged in to see our specialist content

  3. The availability of face-to-face services will be affected during the outbreak. If people need to speak to someone for advice, they should check our website for the status of their nearest Citizens Advice. 

  4. Citizens Advice will continue to offer advice over the telephone on its Adviceline - 03444 111 444 - as well as online chat with advisers. Anyone seeking to make a new claim for Universal Credit should call the Universal Credit Help to Claim line on 0800 1448444

  5. Citizens Advice is made up of the national charity Citizens Advice; the network of independent local Citizens Advice charities across England and Wales; the Citizens Advice consumer service; and the Witness Service.

  6. Our network of charities offers impartial advice online, over the phone, and in person, for free. 

  7. We helped 2.7 million people face to face, over the phone, by email and webchat in 2018-19. And we had 29 million visits to our website. For full service statistics see our monthly publication Advice trends.

  8. You can get consumer advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 0808 223 1133 or 0808 223 1144 for Welsh language speakers.