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Data shows more mobility in Melbourne during lockdown than Sydney

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New data has revealed the key differences between the lockdowns in Sydney and Melbourne, including people’s behavior in each city.

Melbourne’s lockdown may have been fast and hard, but new granular data has revealed that Sydneysiders hunkered down more with far fewer people traveling long distances.

The research comes as Victoria reported 1838 cases on Friday – a record for Australia and above NSW’s wave peak of 1603 infections in a single day.

The analysis of movement in Melbourne could back up Premier Daniel Andrews’ claim that significant numbers of people were “doing the wrong thing” and moving across the city despite strict regulations.

AFL Grand Final weekend saw the second-highest level of mobility over 10kms in the distance in Melbourne since lockdown six began. Yet, in Sydney, the movement continues to be far below normal levels.

That’s despite accusations, particularly in the early weeks after Sydney’s stay-at-home orders came into place, that the city was in a “lockdown”. Pictures were beamed across Australia of people strolling past Bondi Beach to prove the point.

But Paul Rybicki, country head at analytics firm DSpark Australia, told news.com.au adherence to mobility restrictions was higher in Sydney. If you compare Sydney to Melbourne, there are differences in compliance in terms of that travel radius. “You could argue that Sydney battened down the hatches more than other cities”.

DSpark’s data also revealed shadow lockdowns, where a significant number of people chose to stay at home in the days before actual lockdowns were announced.

Mobility key to lockdown

Decreasing mobility is one of the critical metrics of lockdowns. However, accurately measuring movement is tricky. Some research focuses disproportionately on public transport or the use of transport planning apps – which can miss scores of journeys.

Mr. Rybicki said the park, which has worked with various State Government agencies, pulled together operational data and passive measures, including anonymized mobile phone movement.

“We ingest app and telco data, data from the public transport network, from the roads, and the census, and we use that to look at how people move,” he said.

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Tristan McCue is a 26-year-old junior programmer who enjoys reading, binge-watching boxed sets, and appearing in the background on TV. He is smart and friendly, but can also be very evil and a bit lazy.He is an Australian Christian. He has a post-graduate degree in computing.
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