Google Data Shows Movie Theaters and Restaurants Have Seen a 47% Plunge in Visits Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Hard-hit New York saw a whopping 62% drop in retail and recreation activity

Google shared new data on Friday showing how visits to movie theaters and public transportation centers, among other locations, have plunged in recent weeks, as stay-at-home orders due to the coronavirus outbreak have led to a significant decrease in activity.

The data looks at how people are moving around in 131 countries, with March travel being compared to a baseline average set between January and February of this year.  (China is not included in Google’s report.) In the U.S., where more than 90% of Americans are under some form of restricted travel order, a few things immediately jump out: there’s been a 47% countrywide drop in visits to “retail and recreation” spots, which includes movie theaters, restaurants, shopping centers, museums and theme parks. Public transportation has seen an even bigger decline, with Google reporting a 51% plunge in trips to subway, bus, and train station hubs.

As expected with millions of people being compelled to suddenly work from home, there’s been a 38% decrease in office visits, Google found. Interestingly, the amount of time people are spending at home hasn’t increased as much as you might expect, with Google’s “residential” category seeing only a 12% increase.

Here’s how the remaining two categories broke down in the U.S.:

– 22% drop in grocery store and pharmacy visits

– 19% decline in trips to parks

New York, which has become the epicenter for COVID-19 in America, has seen an even starker drop in travel compared to the U.S. overall:

– 62% drop in retail and recreation

– 68% drop in transit hub visits

– 46% drop in workplace visits

– 47% drop for parks

– 32% drop in grocery and pharmacy visits

– 16% increase in time spent at home

California, which was relatively proactive with its COVID-19 stay-at-home measures, has seen a 50% drop in retail since the earlier this year. Public transit in the state has dropped 54%, and time spent at the workplace has declined 39%; time spent at parks has also dropped nearly 40%, and grocery store visits have dropped 24%.

While the decrease in activity is apparent in North America, other countries have seen steeper declines. In Italy and Spain, the two European countries hit hardest by the pandemic, Google reported both have seen a 94% decline in retail and recreation activity. In the United Kingdom, that figure is at 85%.

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