Rise in people going back to work in Northamptonshire after easing of lockdown, new figures confirm

Statistics produced by Google based on mobile phone data
Picture: Press AssociationPicture: Press Association
Picture: Press Association

Northamptonshire's residents spent more time in workplaces in the first week since lockdown restrictions were lifted, figures from Google suggest.

The data, for the week to May 16, covers the first period in which lockdown restrictions started to be eased in England.

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Google uses location data from phones and other personal devices to track trends in people's movement in the home, retail and recreation establishments, grocery stores and pharmacies, public transport hubs, workplaces, and parks and green spaces.

The weekly report shows an increase in activity at Northamptonshire's places of work during the week to May 16, compared to the week before – suggesting people are returning to the usual locations of their jobs.

Over the seven days, time spent in workplaces was 50% lower than during a five-week baseline period at the start of the year.

The week before, it had been 55% lower than usual levels.

In the first report, which covered the week to March 29 when the lockdown came into effect, workplace activity was down 51%.

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The data suggests that the population in Northamptonshire is managing to stay away from offices and factories less successfully than in other locations across the UK. Nationally, people were spending 56% less time than usual in workplaces last week.

During the week to May 16 the first measures to ease England's lockdown were brought in, as people were encouraged to return to workplaces if they could not work from home. They were also allowed to stay outdoors in public places, as long as social distancing measures were maintained.

The nationwide lockdown was implemented on March 23, with the Prime Minister telling people to stay home and only leave for “very limited” and essential purposes.

These included shopping for basic necessities, once-a-day exercise, medical needs and travelling to work, but only when it could not be done from home.

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Meanwhile, four in 10 adults in Great Britain felt unsafe when going outside after the Government’s “stay at home” guidance was relaxed, official figures suggest.

The latest Office for National Statistics polling showed 41% felt unsafe or very unsafe due to the coronavirus, rising to 54% of those with an underlying health condition.

Despite the fears, around one in four adults said they had visited a park or green space over the past seven days, a sixth of whom did so to meet friends or family outside their immediate household.

The Opinions and Lifestyle Survey on the social impacts of Covid-19 was conducted on 995 adults in Great Britain between May 14 and 17.

In other locations in Northamptonshire:

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Visits to public transport hubs were 51% down on usual levels

Shopping centres and food outlets saw 68% less traffic than normal

Visits to parks, beaches and other public areas were 3% down

Food shops and pharmacies saw 22% less traffic

People spent 20% more time at home than usual