Sydney’s lockdown may have copped criticism for being too little too late but new research suggests the stay-at-home orders were taken seriously.
Analysis from analytics firm DSpark Australia, which compared mobility rates between Sydney and Melbourne, has revealed movement in the Harbour city dropped more dramatically, despite Victoria’s harder and faster approach.
It comes as Victoria recorded 1890 new locally acquired cases on Sunday - agonisingly close to an alarming milestone of 2,000 daily injection which has never been reached by any state or territory.
Maps show big differences between cities
The data represented in maps, with the darker shades representing less movement, shows how Sydneysiders bunkered down at a greater rate with far fewer people travelling across the city.
During week six of each lockdown, shades across Melbourne are noticeably lighter compared to Sydney.
“If you compare Sydney to Melbourne there’s definitely differences in compliance in terms of that radius of travel,” Paul Rybicki, country head at analytics firm DSpark Australia, told news.com.au.
“You could argue that Sydney actually battened down the hatches more than other cities”.
DSpark worked with various state government agencies and used a range of measures including anonymous mobile phone movement to gather the data.
According to News.com, movement sank in Sydney as the lockdown lingered on.
By late July - week five of Sydney’s lockdown - weekday mobility further than 10kms was down to its lowest point of 51 per cent.
But movement never dropped this low in Melbourne, where mobility dropped to only 27 per cent in late August - week three of lockdown six - and never fell any further.
Mr Rybicki added that the data only revealed travel, not the reason for moving or any insight into transmission.
“I don’t know whether they were more essential workers or whether the public health orders were different in those states in terms of who can and can’t travel,” he told News.com.au.
“That needs to be taken into consideration before you jump to a conclusion to say it’s a compliance thing,” he said.
“But it is the observations that we see.”
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