Around one in seven adults said they did not always or often socially distance while meeting up with others over the last seven days, figures show.
Some 85% of adults reported always or often socially distancing while meeting up with people outside their household, support or childcare bubble, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.
Some 14% responded “sometimes”, “not very often” and “never”, rising to 24% of adults aged 16-29.
The most common reasons were because they were seeing friends (59%) and family members (47%), the ONS said.
It said there may be “valid, essential reasons” why people were unable to maintain social distancing and it does not necessarily mean they were breaking the coronavirus rules.
It analysed responses from 3,791 adults in Britain polled between April 21 and 25 as part of its Opinions and Lifestyle Survey.
Overall, 10% of adults said they had met up indoors with someone not from their household, support or childcare bubble in the last seven days.
More than half (57%) had done so outside.
The ONS found that younger adults were more likely not to socially distance when meeting up with friends.
Two thirds of adults aged 16-29 said they did not socially distance because they were with friends, compared to 38% of adults aged 70 and over.
Older adults were more likely to not socially distance from family – 55% of adults aged 70 and over who did not always or often socially distance gave this reason, compared to 38% of 16-29-year-olds.