Revealed - Google data tracks where people have been post-lockdown

Busy Ipswich Cornhill

Google mobility data reports reveals if Ipswich, along with Babergh, Mid Suffolk, West Suffolk and East Suffolk have residents returning to pre-pandemic life. - Credit: Charlotte Bond

Google data has showed people in Suffolk continuing to opt for parks during the warm weather, following the lifting of the majority of coronavirus restrictions.

Tracking data from the search engine compares the time spent at various different places compared to baselines between January 3 and February 6, 2020 — before the pandemic hit. 

In July, Suffolk residents were going to parks, public beaches, marinas, dog parks, plazas and public gardens 102% more than before Covid. 

Retail, hospitality and recreation visits were also up by 3% compared to the baseline, while supermarkets and pharmacies saw a 15% rise.

Public transport and workplaces, however, were down 28% and 37% respectively - even though the government has said people are free to return to the office.


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However, the data varies for different parts of Suffolk.

Babergh residents have been going to restaurants, cafes and shops 11% less than before the pandemic, although their trips to parks and outdoor spaces are up by 62%. 

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Retail and recreation visits are also down by 18% compared to the baseline in Ipswich, while 34% fewer people have returned to the office compared to before the pandemic.

In Mid Suffolk, there was a 14% increase in people visiting shops, while Suffolk Coastal saw a 45% rise in retail and recreation. 

Suffolk Coastal includes tourist hotspots such as Aldeburgh and Thorpeness.

The district also saw a 20% rise in supermarket and pharmacy trips, along with a 130% rise in visits to parks and outdoor areas.

In the Waveney district, retail and recreation saw a 25% rise in visitors, while supermarkets and pharmacies recorded a 28% rise and and parks and open spaces a whopping 223% increase.

In West Suffolk, retail and recreation visits increased by only 4%, while supermarket and pharmacy trips rose by 9%.

However, there was an 89% increase in visits to parks.

The use of public transport appears to be down across Suffolk, with falls of 20% in Mid Suffolk, 30% in Ipswich, 34% in Babergh and 37% in West Suffolk.

Waveney and Suffolk Coastal also saw a 14% decline in public transport usage.

Trips to workplaces in Suffolk fell by more than 30%.

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