The Impact of Public Health Intervention Policies On Locals’ Mobility Patterns During the First Half of 2020
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Objective: The prevalence of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) can cause inconvenience and affect lifestyle because human movements can spread virus transmission. This study aims to investigate the impact of the government’s public health intervention policies and reported COVID-19 cases on locals’ mobility patterns.
Design: Secondary data on various mobility patterns of Hong Kong people against public health intervention policies and reported COVID-19 cases were collected and analyzed from publicly available sources, including government, commercial, and news sites. Data were collected from January to July 2020. Multiple regression was applied for hypothesis testing.
Results: Results showed positive and negative impacts of public health intervention policies and reported COVID-19 cases on locals’ mobility patterns. The policy of wearing facial masks negatively influenced locals’ mobility patterns. Then, the policy of closure of leisure and cultural service venues increases locals’ mobility for retail, groceries, and transit. Moreover, the policy limiting social gatherings to 50 people enhanced locals’ mobilities for retail and transit. From another aspect, the reported COVID-19 cases had a negative impact on locals’ mobility for retail, parks, and transit.
Conclusions: This study presents considerable effects of public health intervention policies. With the restrictions on certain activities or behaviors, locals will transfer to another behavior, which consequently enhances travel mobilities. The reported COVID-19 cases significantly reduced local mobility patterns.
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