Social distancing has well entered our lives with multiple lockdowns currently taking place in different countries across the Globe. For businesses in the hospitality industry, this means temporarily suspending operations as people are either not allowed, or less willing to be occupying crowded places.

To measure the impact of social distancing, Google has recently launched COVID-19 Community Mobility Reports, providing insights into the movement of people as a result of imposed restrictions. In simple terms, Google is using aggregated anonymised insights, to measure how much more or less people are frequenting places such as retail and recreation, groceries and pharmacies, parks, transit stations, workplaces, and residential.

Let’s look at a summary of findings for the UK, in the retail and recreation category i.e. places such as restaurants, cafes and shopping centres – numbers below are compared to baseline, meaning, pro COVID-19 life and are up to the 9th of April, from 2-3 days prior as per Google:

Overall, a reduction of 82% of people visiting cafes and restaurants compared to baseline.

By area (only a few included here): Greater London: -84%, Greater Manchester -81%, West Midlands: -82%, West Yorkshire: -81%, Merseyside: -82%, Hampshire: -83%, Edinburgh -86%, Glasgow -83%, Cardiff: -84%

What about other European countries and their capitals?

Germany: -58% Berlin: -67%
France: -85% Paris: -90%
Spain: -94% Madrid: -94%
Italy: -95% Rome: -96%
 Sweden: -35% Stockholm: -34%
United Kingdom: -82% London: -84%


As you can see, in countries where lockdowns have been heavily imposed (see Italy and Spain), the results are vividly shown in the numbers above. In Sweden for example, where people are still able to drink their coffee (the favourite “fika”) at a café or visit a restaurant, only a 35% reduction is recorded.

We will keep monitoring these numbers to understands peoples’ movements as countries will be returning to normal life.

Keep reading our blog and we will keep you posted on local communities’ mobility, with a hope to see soon 0% variances and why not an increase in people who are thirsty and hungry for their favourite coffee and meal!