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Google tracking shows where Norfolk people went during lockdown

PUBLISHED: 06:30 27 June 2020 | UPDATED: 15:16 27 June 2020

A customer wears a face mask at Thetford Garden Centre during the Coronavirus lockdown. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

A customer wears a face mask at Thetford Garden Centre during the Coronavirus lockdown. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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New statistics have shown how visits to Norfolk’s parks and open spaces have soared during the coronavirus pandemic - and how people have begun returning to work, the shops and on to public transport.

Data from Google has shown that, as lockdown restrictions imposed in March are being eased, people have been embracing the opportunity to get out and about more.

On Sunday, March 29, visits to parks and open spaces had dropped to 69pc of normal levels, but on Sunday, June 14, the number of people at those locations was 65pc higher than average.

On Bank Holiday Monday, May 25, parks and open spaces were a huge 156pc busier than they would normally have been.

Google used location data to chart trends in people’s movement in the home, retail and recreation establishments, grocery stores and pharmacies, public transport hubs, and parks and green spaces.

The data also showed a gradual return to the workplace for some people. On June 14, the number of people in their workplace was 17pc lower than normal levels, but that had been between 60pc to 70pc lower during the tighter lockdown days of April.

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Visits to retail and recreation has also picked up, although the figures predate the wider reopening of shops in recent days.

On June 14, the numbers were 60pc down on the normal levels, but that had been closer to 90pc down at some points at the end of March and in April.

Table tennis players enjoying a game in the sunshine at Eaton Park in Norwich. Picture: Ian BurtTable tennis players enjoying a game in the sunshine at Eaton Park in Norwich. Picture: Ian Burt

And people are also, gradually, making more use of public transport, where the wearing of face coverings is now mandatory.

On June 14, time spent on public transport was 37pc down on normal levels, but that had been closer to 60pc down during April and the start of May.

Visits for groceries and to pharmacies have been at between 30pc to 40pc down on normal levels during lockdown, but began to pick up during May. By June 14, it was 17pc down on the usual levels.

The coming weeks will see restaurants and pubs allowed to open again, and for those people who have been shielding to be allowed to go our more.

But people are still being urged to adhere to social distancing and to keep washing their hands.

Data is only used by Google account users who opted-in to its location history service.


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