Google data reveals how strictly Suffolk is sticking to lockdown 3

 wearing a protective face visor.

A shopper wearing a protective face visor. More than three quarters of England's population is being ordered to stay at home to stop the spread of coronavirus. - Credit: PA

More people in Suffolk have avoided supermarkets during lockdown three than the national average, new Google data has revealed.

Since the pandemic began, the internet giant has been using location data gathered from people’s phones to help public health bosses determine how closely the country has been sticking to lockdown rules.

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

Figures out on Friday reveal trips to supermarkets and pharmacies for groceries in Suffolk was down by more than a third this February compared with the same time last year.

Nationally, this metric was only down by a quarter, showing that people in our area are avoiding food shopping, perhaps opting for home deliveries instead.

Time spent in the workplace was also dramatically down on last February in Suffolk following the Government's 'work from home' order, with movements down 63% on February 8, compared with a 52% drop nationally.

Meanwhile, Suffolk appears to be sticking to the 'stay at home' rule more ardently than other parts of the country, with people spending 25% more time in residential areas than the England average of 20%.

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Use of public transport fell by 50% on last February - a smaller drop than the 62% nationally. However, as Suffolk is a rural county, journeys were typically more infrequent pre-lockdown in this area than they were in more metropolitan districts, such as Manchester and London. 

Time spent outdoors in parks during the third national lockdown has fluctuated, which could account for colder weather, but the latest numbers available for February 9 show a 16% drop on last February, compared to the England average of 12%.

Data comes from Google account users who opted-in to its location history service.

Statistics are calculated on a baseline value for that day of the week.

The baseline used is the average for the corresponding day of the week during the five-week period from January 3 to February 6, 2020.