Publications - October 2020

Preprint and peer-reviewed publications from RECOVER’s studies

Evaluating the effect of demographic factors, socioeconomic factors, and risk aversion on mobility during the COVID-19 epidemic in France under lockdown: a population-based study

On March 17, 2020, French authorities implemented a nationwide lockdown to respond to the COVID-19 epidemic and curb the surge of patients requiring critical care. Assessing the effect of lockdown on individual displacements is essential to quantify achievable mobility reductions and identify the factors driving the changes in social dynamics that affected viral diffusion. We aimed to use mobile phone data to study how mobility in France changed before and during lockdown, breaking down our findings by trip distance, user age and residency, and time of day, and analysing regional data and spatial heterogeneities.

Lockdown was effective in reducing population mobility across scales. Caution should be taken in the timing of policy announcements and implementation, because anomalous mobility followed policy announcements, which might act as seeding events. Conversely, risk aversion might be beneficial in further decreasing mobility in highly affected regions. We also identified socioeconomic and demographic constraints to the efficacy of restrictions. The unveiled links between geography, demography, and timing of the response to mobility restrictions might help to design interventions that minimise invasiveness while contributing to the current epidemic response.

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