New data from Google shows the extent to which Covid-19 restrictions are impacting on our usual movements.

The company has gathered information from users of its technology, to examine how travel patterns have altered in recent weeks. 

With all but non-essential businesses closed, and restrictions on personal movement, there has been a dramatic fall in all kinds of travel. 

Google's latest report shows how visits and length of stay at various places have changed, compared to the first few weeks of the year. 

Nationally, there has been an 83% drop in travel to places classified under the 'Retail and Recreation' heading. This includes shopping centres, cinemas and restaurants but excludes grocery stores and pharmacies. 

Visits to public spaces like parks and beaches have fallen by almost 60% and there has also been a big drop in travel to workplaces in recent weeks too. 

In contrast, residential mobility trends are up by almost a fifth. 

County figures are broadly in line with the national totals but the distance from the coastline, or population density, does impact on some localised figures. 

The data was gathered from services like Google maps. 

If users have opted to allow the company to examine their location history, that material contributes to this snapshot. 

While the figures are not definitive, they give a sample of the way our movements have changed in recent weeks.

Google said it has used aggregated, anonymised data to show how busy certain types of places are. 

It plans to release updated reports, covering a total of 131 countries, in the coming weeks. 

The firm said the initiative is aimed at assisting actions to combat the spread of Covid-19. 


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