These measures were implemented to slow the spread of the virus by enforcing physical distance between people.
How effective have these policies been in reducing human movement? What impact has it had on how people across the world work; live; and where they visit?
We can get some insights on this from the data that Google presents in its COVID-19 Community Mobility Reports. Using anonymized data provided by apps such as Google Maps, the company has produced a regularly updated dataset that shows how peoples’ movements have changed throughout the pandemic.
This new dataset from Google measures visitor numbers to specific categories of location (e.g. grocery stores; parks; train stations) every day and compares this change relative to baseline day before the pandemic outbreak. Baseline days represent a normal value for that day of the week, given as median value over the five‑week period from January 3rd to February 6th 2020. Measuring it relative to a normal value for that day of the week is helpful because people obviously often have different routines on weekends versus weekdays.
The chart below shows the change in number of workplace visitors over the course of pandemic so far.
Google plans to continue adding more countries updating this data throughout the pandemic. As you see in the charts, the latest data is some days old.