Coronavirus: Google data suggests park visits increased over the weekend

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Cyclists in a park in Liverpool

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AFP

Park visits increased last weekend, according to Google activity data, but were even less common than usual.

The tech giant has released its second set of reports on activity in 131 countries during the pandemic.

His report to the UK suggests that far fewer people are out of life before the lockdown, but park visits increased during the hot weather this past weekend.

There has also been an increase in the use of transportation hubs and food stores.

Google collects location data from people who have opted to track location history. He uses it to produce reports that show how busy areas are compared to a period before the year.

The data show only the activity of individuals in aggregate form and not individual behaviors. But it does provide breakdowns for specific areas – in the case of the United Kingdom, on a county-by-county basis.

Data from two weeks ago suggested that visits to places such as parks, public beaches and gardens were down 52% from life before closing.

But last weekend, the figure was 29%.

There were concerns that the sunny weather would push people out and a number of parks were closed last weekend.

In Greater London, data indicates that visits to the parks were only 15% lower than life before the lockdown.

According to government advice, people can go to the park to exercise, but they must be within 2 m (6.6 feet) of others, except members of their own household.

The full report for the United Kingdom has been published on the Google website.

Warmer weather has been forecast for the Easter holiday weekend, and police have warned they will crack down on the lockout rules.

How does Google collect this data?

The report uses data from people who have tracked location history in their Google Accounts.

Google collects location data from their smartphones. He normally does this to provide advice on going to stores and other attractions and on traffic on the road ahead.

In this case, it uses the information to assess the frequentation of the premises in relation to life before the lock.

It uses records from the five-week period between January 3 and February 6, 2020 as a benchmark for life before the lockdown.

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