Social distancing: Nearly 70 percent decrease in use of public transit, retail: Google
Social distancing measures implemented to curb the spread of Covid-19 in the Netherlands resulted a massive decrease in visits to retail and recreation businesses, as well as public transit stations, according to mobility trends released by Google, using the same anonymous data used for products like Google Maps.
According to the report, Netherlands residents are now spending 65 percent less time in places like restaurants, cafes, shopping centers, theme parks, museums and libraries than before the Covid-19 pandemic. Time spent in train-, subway, and bus stations decreased by 68 percent.
Time spent in parks, workplaces and food stores showed a lower, but still significant decrease. Netherlands residents now go to parks, public beaches, dog parks and public gardens 30 percent less. They visit grocery stores, pharmacies, specialty food shops and farmers markets 29 percent less. And go to work 35 percent less as more people work from home. This resulted in an 11 percent increase in time spent in residential neighborhoods.
Regionally, there are some odd statistics. Groningen actually showed an increase of people visiting parks, with visits now being 2 percent higher over normal activity. Noord-Holland, home to Amsterdam Centraal and Schiphol - two of the busiest train stations in the country, saw time spent at transit stations fall 79 percent. Utrecht saw a drop of 70 percent.
Limburg showed the biggest drop in time spent in retail and recreation sites, with a decrease of 78 percent. Noord-Brabant, the first province in the Netherlands to see social distancing measures implemented, and Noord-Holland saw the biggest increase in time spent in residential areas, at 12 percent each.