Google have released aggregated smartphone location data which shows the UK under lockdown.
According to the newly published ‘Community Mobility Report’, in which Google GPS data from the location settings of Android phones is broken down by country, the UK has seen a dramatic drop in those going outside during March, as people stay in lockdown for the duration of the Covid-19 crisis.
‘Retail and Recreation’ visits, which includes restaurants, cafes, shopping centres, theme parks, museums, libraries and cinemas are down 85% against normal rates, and ‘Parks’ show a 53% decrease.
‘Transit Stations’ including public transport hubs are down an astonishing 75% as people remain at home rather than travelling.
‘Grocery & Pharmacy’ visits show a smaller decrease, at 46%, as people continue to shop sparingly for essentials.
However, Google GPS data varies across the UK – with Google warning readers not to compare rural and urban areas. Remoter parts of Scotland and Wales are less consistent both in lockdown severity but also available data to measure.
This measurement difficulty is something also noted by the Kings College Covid-19 sympton tracker app, which gathers self-reported data from across the UK and has risen rapidly up the Google Play and Apple App Store app charts in recent days.
Data for Devon suggests the lockdown is being observed slightly more strictly, with even lower rates of shopping and leisure trips being made compared to the UK average, but marginally higher attendance at workplaces and at public transport hubs.
You can find the Google’s COVID-19 Community Mobility Report for the UK and other countries here.
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