Suffolk adhering to lockdown three restrictions as much as first lockdown, data shows

Ipswich town centre during Tier 4 restrictions.

Mobility data indicated that footfall in the third Covid-19 lockdown was in line with those seen during the first lockdown in Suffolk - Credit: SARAH LUCY BROWN

People in Suffolk are largely following Covid-19 restrictions as stringently as they were in May last year during the first wave of the pandemic, Suffolk's public health chief has said.

Public Health Suffolk has been monitoring Google mobility data, which indicated that footfall at workplaces, transport locations, beaches and parks, shops, recreation spots, grocery stores and pharmacies were low.

Stuart Keeble, director of public health for Suffolk

Public Health Suffolk director Stuart Keeble said mobility data indicated the county was largely following lockdown rules as stringently as the first time around - Credit: Suffolk County Council

Public Health Suffolk director Stuart Keeble told Thursday's Health and Wellbeing Board: "Data that is being collected from ONS [Office for National Statistics] is actually showing that people really are adhering to a lot of the lockdown messages now. 

"We are seeing similar levels of adherence to the same point in May last year - people are less likely to go out and meet out.

"Clearly if we can keep doing that it will bring the rate down further and put us in the best place over the next few months when the vaccines come in."


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It marks a positive indication that most people across the county are following the rules imposed by the government when the third national lockdown was brought in earlier this month, aimed at preventing the spread of the virus and keeping vulnerable people safe.

A policeman wearing a mask in Ipswich town centre during the coronavirus pandemic

The government has upped enforcement of Covid-19 lockdown rules amid a more virulent strain of the virus circulating in the country - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Fears had been raised that people have not been following the rules as stringently this time around, and across England efforts to ramp up enforcement by police were made as a new, more virulent strain of the infection, was identified by scientists.

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The data compares movements to a baseline figure which was the average over five weeks between January 3 and February 6, 2020 - prior to the pandemic's arrival in the UK.

As of January 2021, footfall at retail and recreation spots was down 73% in Suffolk compared to this time last year while transport hubs such as train stations and bus stations were 62% lower.

Workplaces, grocery stores and pharmacies, and parks and beaches were all down between 30% and 35% on that time.

Public Health Suffolk said time spent at home was up, with those changes broadly in line with those seen during the first lockdown.

See the Suffolk CoronaWatch bulletin online at www.suffolk.gov.uk and follow the links.

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