Fresh data shows most New Zealanders are staying at home, while activity in some regions has plummeted by 100%.
Jacinda Ardern warned that week three would be the hardest period of level four lockdown, and more people would be tempted to leave their homes as the country reached the final stretch.
According to Google’s latest mobility data, most people have resisted that temptation, with national trends very similar to the week prior and the current stats of both France and Spain.
However, the data does suggest that more New Zealanders have ventured to the supermarkets and pharmacies, with the national average down 33% this week, compared with 48% last week. This is most likely explained by the closures of supermarkets on Easter Friday, which caused a spike in activity in the days following as more people sought to stock up on supplies.
A notable exception to this is Gisborne, where the data continued to show a huge drop in grocery and pharmacy activity at -92%. Gisborne also registered very low retail and recreation activity, with -96% versus the national average of -88%.
The data for the West Coast shows the largest drop in retail and recreation, with activity down 100% from the baseline. With 32,000 people, the West Coast has the lowest population of any region, making retail a difficult business in the best of times. However, many Coasters also appear to be avoiding parks, with usage down 89%, the lowest figure in New Zealand.
Meanwhile, Wellington’s park usage, which last week was considerably higher than the national average of -74% – has dropped from down 40% last week to down 65% this week.
Auckland was largely unchanged from a week before, but its grocery activity was down 31% versus the previous week’s 48%.
Overall, the trends across New Zealand appear to be relatively consistent, compared with the United States which varies widely in both Covid-19 approach and ideology from state to state.
In the state of New York, which has been hit hardest by Covid-19 with nearly 15,000 confirmed deaths, the data shows large drops in retail activity at -62% and moderate drops in grocery and parks at -4% and -12% respectively.
In Virginia, on the other hand, which according to reports is in a state of partial revolt against the economic restrictions and social distancing requirements, park usage is in fact up 17%, while retail and grocery activity is down -40% and -9% respectively.