Lockdown footfall is up in North Lanarkshire

People in North Lanarkshire have been tempted back into shops despite the continuing lockdown, data from Google suggests – but trips are still below normal levels.

With national figures showing a similar rise in shop visits, First Secretary of State Dominic Raab, acting in place of Boris Johnson, urged the nation to continue to follow government advice on social distancing.

In the second report of its kind that we have published, Google used location data to chart trends in people’s movement in the home, retail and recreation establishments, grocery stores and pharmacies, public transport hubs, and parks and green spaces.

In North Lanarkshire, footfall increased in four of the five categories outside of the home in the six weeks to April 5 compared to the six weeks to March 29.

Both reports used the five-week period between January 3 and February 6 as a baseline to compare people’s movements against.

The biggest change was in both retail and recreation establishments and grocery stores and pharmacies.

Google’s figures previously showed footfall had fallen by 78% and 37% respectively.

However, the latest data shows visits are now only down 75% and 34% compared to usual.

Speaking after the publication of the second Google report, Dominic Raab said everyone who stayed home had helped protect the NHS and save lives, but that “we must keep going”.

He added that the measures will have to stay in place until we have moved beyond the peak of cases, as it was too early to say conclusively if they had worked yet.

He said: “The most important thing right now is that people continue to follow the Government’s guidance until we’ve got the evidence that the virus is firmly under control.

“So that means please do stay at home, to protect our NHS and to save lives.

“After all the efforts that everyone’s made, after all the sacrifices so many people have made, let’s not ruin it now.

“Let’s not undo the gains we’ve made.

“Let’s not waste the sacrifices so many people have made.

“We mustn’t give the coronavirus a second chance to kill more people and hurt our country.

“I know it’s tough going. But this is a team effort, and we’ll only defeat this virus for good if we all stay the course.”

Across the UK, the Google data shows an increase in footfall in each category outside the home.

The biggest increase in movement was seen in parks where visits rose from 52% below average to 29%.

Speaking at another daily press conference, NHS England medical director Stephen Powis their own data analysis shows compliance levels in the public are very high.

However, Mr Powis said that this was something that still required to be held in check - for safety’s sake.

He said: “We absolutely need to make sure that we keep the benefits of this going forward and we don’t take our foot off the pedal, we don’t become complacent.”

The full results for North Lanarkshire are:

Trips to retail and recreation establishments had been 78% below normal, but have since increased to 75%

Google said there was enough data for a complete analysis of parks and green spaces.

Footfall in grocery stores and pharmacies had been 37% below normal, but have since increased to 34%

Public transport use, which had been 56% below the baseline, has since increased to 54%

Workplaces had seen a 50% drop, but have since increased to 48%