Revealed - Google data shows how well people in Suffolk are sticking to lockdown rules

Ipswich town centre was like a ghost town on November 15, during the second weekend of lockdown 2. Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Ipswich town centre was like a ghost town on November 15, during the second weekend of lockdown 2. Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND - Credit: Charlotte Bond

The number of people using Suffolk’s shops and recreational facilities has fallen by almost half compared to the average, new Google data has revealed.

Bury St Edmunds on the first day of the second lockdown. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Bury St Edmunds on the first day of the second lockdown. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Google has been using location data from people’s phones to help public health bosses see how closely the country has been sticking to lockdown restrictions.

The company’s latest mobility report covers the period from October 6 to November 15, including the first two weeks of the second national lockdown.

The mobility figures show a 48% drop in time spent at these venues during October and November, compared to the average before Covid-19 struck.

Within Ipswich, there was a fall of around 70% in time spent at shops and hospitality venues on some days - including a 74% drop on November 7.


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However, the figures show a clear rush to shops, restaurants and pubs over the last three days before the second lockdown came into force.

And “retail and recreation” visits on November 4, the last day before lockdown, actually rose back to the pre-coronavirus average.

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Trips to supermarkets and pharmacies were also down by 10% over the period compared to the norm.

MORE: Millions paid out to keep Suffolk businesses afloat during pandemicSuffolk employees are still spending less time in their workplaces than they were pre-pandemic, with a drop of 34% compared to the usual level. Visits to public transport hubs have fallen by 37%.

However, the figures suggest people were starting to return to their normal working routine before lockdown, with numbers for both workplace visits and transport use dropping off sharply again since November 5.

There has also been a 13% rise in time spent in residential areas. That is still down, however, from 31% more time spent at home in April, at the height of the first lockdown.

MORE: Suffolk nightlife crisis - ‘I’m devastated by lack of support’One area which has seen a sharp increase in footfall is public parks and beaches, with Suffolk residents spending 23% more time in these areas than usual over the period.

Time spent outdoors obviously varies with the weather, but, in Ipswich, time spent in parks was up by 63% on November 10.

Not surprisingly, as well as parks being popular during lockdown, the half term week also saw families spend a lot more time outdoors.

In Babergh, people spent 65% more time in parks on October 26, while, in West Suffolk, the figure for October 28 was 77% higher.

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