Pedestrian traffic across Canberra's public transport stations has dropped by more than half of normal levels, while movement in retail areas has plummeted by 40 per cent, new figures have revealed.
New data released by Google based on location information has shown the extent that public movement levels have dropped in the wake of coronavirus and social distancing measures.
Google's 'community mobility reports' have revealed public movement levels up until March 29, the day Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced restrictions limiting outdoor gatherings to no more than two people.
The closure of cafes, restaurants and other places where large gatherings could occur had been in place for at least a week.
Movement in retail and recreation areas in the ACT was down by 40 per cent compared to baseline levels seen in January and February.
Across workplaces, levels of human traffic declined by 31 per cent in the same period, while public transport areas recorded the biggest decrease at 52 per cent.
Despite frenzied scenes at supermarkets of people panic buying supplies, grocery stores and pharmacies also recorded a decrease in foot traffic but only fell by 3 per cent.
In a sign social distancing measures and calls for people to stay home are working, movement in residential areas has increased by 11 per cent.
However, public movement in parks, which include national parks, dog parks and public gardens, increased in the same time period by 38 per cent.
The ACT was the only Australian jurisdiction to record an increase in public movement in parks.
However, Google said figures between states and territories shouldn't be made as a direct comparison as location accuracy and the categorisation of public places differ from region to region.
The tech giant said information would be gathered that would be useful to social distancing efforts.
"We calculate these insights based on data from users who have opted in to location history for their Google account, so the data represents a sample of our users," a spokesman for the company said.
"As with all samples, this may or may not represent the exact behaviour of a wider population."
Google said no personally identifiable information, such as individual location, contacts or movement, was made available in the data.
At a national level, mobility levels at public transport stations were down by 58 per cent while movement at retail areas were down by 45 per cent.
Workplace movements had dropped by one-third on baseline levels, while the number of people visiting parks dropped by 35 per cent and groceries stores fell by 19 per cent.
Mobility trends for residential areas showed a 13 per cent increase.
Google said it intends to update the data on a regular basis, as social distancing measures are extended.
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