ARE people staying at home as instructed? Are supermarkets busier than normal? And are we really overusing parks for dog walks and exercise?

While we may not be able to answer these questions for certain, we can at least get an inkling thanks to a report recently published by Google.

The Covid-19 Community Mobility Report has been released by the tech giant to help us understand how the public has responded to the policies put in place to help contain the spread of coronavirus.

The report uses movement trends to chart how much people are using certain shops, amenities and other locations in areas up and down the country. Figures relate to trends for March 29 – the most recent date for which data is available.

Here’s what the stats say about Hampshire.

Retail and recreation

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  • This category covers mobility trends for places like restaurants, cafes, shopping centres, theme parks, museums, libraries, cinemas and theatres.

The data shows that movement is down an average of 85 per cent from the ‘baseline’ – which refers to the corresponding day of the week for the five-week period between January 3 and February 6.

In short, people have drastically cut down on trips to restaurants, cafes, shopping centres and other recreational facilities.

Although this is perhaps to be expected, given that the government ordered these places to shut down.

Grocery and pharmacy

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  • Covers mobility trends for places like grocery markets, food warehouses, farmers markets, speciality food shops, drug stores, and pharmacies.

Hampshire residents are going to supermarkets and pharmacies roughly half as often, according to Google’s data.

The official figure for the county is -45 per cent, almost identical to the UK average of -46 per cent.

The graph shows that initially there was something of a surge in supermarket visits around the middle of the month – a trend mirrored nationally.

However that rush then subsided towards the end of March before landing at 45 per cent.


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  • Includes mobility trends for places like national parks, public beaches, marinas, dog parks, plazas, and public gardens.

On more than one occasion, local police have urged residents not to travel to places like parks to carry out their daily exercise, and perhaps with good reason.

Google’s data suggests that Hampshire residents are not cutting down on such visits as much of the rest of the UK.

Park visits are down 52 per cent nationwide, whereas the figure is slightly lower for our county at -48 per cent.

The graph shows that this number only really started dropping significantly in the final week of March.

Transit stations

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  • This covers mobility trends for places like public transport hubs, such as subway, bus, and train stations.

Movement to these public transport hubs is down by three quarters across the UK, and it’s a similar story in Hampshire, where the figure sits at -74 per cent.

Both South Western Railway and Stagecoach have implemented temporary revised train and bus timetables in response to the falling demand.


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  • Mobility trends for places of work.

Again, Hampshire residents vary from the UK average only slightly in terms of going to work as normal amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Movement to workplaces are down 55 per cent across the UK and down 54 per cent in our county.


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  • Mobility trends for places of residence.

You might have expected this figure to be bigger, with ‘stay at home’ being the prevailing message from government.

But Hampshire’s rise in ‘residential’ mobility is dead level with the rest of the UK at 15 per cent.

Interestingly, this figure was much higher just a few days prior, around March 25. However, it dipped in the following days, with this decline coinciding with last weekend.

The graph also shows that there was a slight dip in the number of people who stayed at home on or around Mother’s Day.