Google Location Data Shows If Lockdown Directives are Working

Alphabet’s Google Thursday released reports for 131 nations displaying whether visits to shops, parks, and workplaces dropped in March when many governments introduced stay-at-home directives to rein in the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Google Location Data Shows If Lockdown Directives are Working

Google’s review of location data from billions of users’ phones is the largest public dataset available to assist health authorities in assessing if people are abiding with shelter-in-place and similar orders issued globally.

Its reports show charts that evaluate traffic from February 16 to March 29 at subway, train and bus stations, grocery stores and other broad categories of places with a five-week interval earlier this year.

In Italy, one among hardest struck by the coronavirus, visits to retail and recreation locations, such as restaurants and movie theaters, dropped 94% while visits to workplaces slid 63%. Reflecting on the severity of the crisis there, grocery and pharmacy visits in Italy fell 85% and park visits have been down by 90%.

In the U.S., California, which was the first in the with a statewide lockdown, van visits to retail and recreation locations by half. By contrast, Arkansas, one of the few states without a sweeping lockdown, has seen such visits drop 29%, the lowest for a U.S. state.

The data underscores some challenges authorities have faced in keeping individuals apart. Grocery store visits soared in Singapore, the U.K. and elsewhere as travel bans have been set to go into place.


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