Google’s analysis based on anonymized data from people who opted for location history on their phone shows whether people stay at home or not, or at least a sample of them.
Google has released location data in the form of “COVID-19 Community Mobility Reports” to provide insight into the effectiveness of locking in different areas.
Each report is broken down by location and displays the change in visits to places like grocery stores and parks.
So how does Edinburgh compare to other parts of the country?
The use of shops, leisure facilities, workplaces and transport hubs in Edinburgh has dropped significantly as people listen to the Stay Home message.
Google’s analysis of location data shows that visits to Edinburgh retail and entertainment sites in recent days are 86% below normal levels
The category covers places like restaurants, cafes, shopping malls, theme parks, museums, libraries and cinemas – most of which have been ordered closed by the government.
The small number of visits that still take place may reflect a decision by some companies to offer take-out services.
With the public also encouraged to work from home, unless absolutely necessary, time spent on transportation platforms and workplaces also fell – down 83% and 67% respectively.
Even for places where the public is still allowed to go, the message of only making essential trips seems to be taken on board.
Attendance at grocery stores and pharmacies fell 44% from normal, and park visits fell 42%.
However, with the public doing as requested and staying at home to help fight the coronavirus, the data shows no surprise that the time we spend at home is increasing – 18% higher than normal in Edinburgh.
The analysis is based on anonymized data from people who have opted for location history for their Google account, so it only represents a sample of people.
The figures compare the most recent data, two to three days ago, with the average for the corresponding day of the week for the five-week period January 3 to February 6, 2020.
Across the UK, visits to retail and leisure locations are down 85% from baseline, with trips to work places down 55% and visits to shopping centers. transport down 75%.
Grocery store traffic decreased by 46% and trips to parks decreased by 52%, with people spending 15% more time than usual at home.