Google figures suggest Derbyshire people will stay at home as much as stay alert

New figures from Google suggest Derbyshire residents will still opt to stay at home as much as stay alert despite the lockdown rules on visiting places like parks now being relaxed.

Google’s latest weekly report shows people across the UK ventured out to parks, beaches and other public areas less last week – with footfall remaining significantly below normal levels.

Google uses location data from phones and other personal devices to track trends in people's movement in the home, retail and recreation establishments, grocery stores and pharmacies, public transport hubs, workplaces, and parks and green spaces.

In Derbyshire, there was a decrease in activity within the county’s parks during the week to May 2, compared to the week before – suggesting people were hanging out in public green spaces less regularly, or for shorter periods of time.

We can now visit parks as often as we like as long as we maintain social distancing. Photo: Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images

Over the seven days, time spent in parks was 17 per cent lower than during a five-week baseline period at the start of the year.

The week before, it had been three per cent higher than usual levels.

Visits to public transport hubs were 53 per cent down on usual levels, shopping centres and food outlets saw 74 per cent less traffic than normal, workplaces were 58 per cent quieter than usual, food shops and pharmacies saw 27 per cent less traffic and people spent 22 per cent more time at home than usual.This week, the Government relaxed its advice to people to stay at home, changing its messaging to ‘stay alert, control the virus, save lives’ – though Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have kept the original, stronger messaging.

Health experts have expressed concern that the new slogan lacks clarity and may lead to an increase in ‘risky behaviour’ from the public.

People unable to work from home – such as those in construction and manufacturing – will be ‘actively encouraged to go to work’, though use of public transport should still be limited.

People will also be allowed to spend more time outdoors for leisure purposes, as long as they are socially distanced from others.

It comes more than seven weeks after the Prime Minister imposed the lockdown on March 23, telling people to stay home and only leave for ‘very limited’ and essential purposes.

These included shopping for basic necessities, once-a-day exercise, medical needs and travelling to work, but only when it could not be done from home.