People 'haven’t been as quick to restrict their movement' in the Melbourne CBD in the second round of lockdowns, according to new data

Melbourne (Photo by Recep Sakar/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
  • Market research company Roy Morgan has found the amount of movement in Melbourne’s CBD has been higher during the second round of lockdowns as compared to the first.
  • While there was a drop in movement in Melbourne when “lockdown 2.0” began, it was still higher than the initial stages of the first round of lockdowns in March.
  • This rise has been attributed to Melburnians feeling a sense of “fatigue” around lockdowns and restrictions.
  • Visit Business Insider Australia’s homepage for more stories.

New research from Roy Morgan has found the number of people moving around Melbourne’s CBD has been higher during the second round of coronavirus lockdowns, compared to the start of the first lockdowns.

Roy Morgan teamed up with tech provider UberMedia to gather data on mobile devices and track the movements of Australians during the pandemic. It looked at people visiting the Melbourne CBD during 2020, excluding residents who already live there.

The data showed there are was a drop in movement in Melbourne during the week ending July 13, when the second round of lockdowns began. But this level of movement is still higher than during the initial stages of the first round of lockdowns back in March.

According to Roy Morgan’s analysis, there were 24,902 devices in the CBD on Friday 14 February, which dropped down to 5,230 devices on March 22.

The number of devices in the Melbourne CBD during the second week of July averaged 35% of the levels seen during summer. That’s compared to the first lot of lockdowns where movement in the area dropped to an average of 28% within days.

“The first lockdown in late March produced an immediate and sharp drop in the movement of devices in the Melbourne CBD to an average of 28% of earlier movement levels in a matter of days, and well below 20% of movement levels during early April,” Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine said in a statement.

Roy Morgan believes the higher movement levels during “lockdown 2.0” showed a “fatigue” among residents who have been subject to some of Australia’s strongest restrictions.

Levine said the second round of lockdowns didn’t have as swift an impact on movement compared to the first round. She referred to research from the University of Sydney which showed the spread of the coronavirus could be controlled if at least eight out of 10 people stayed home as much as they could.

“This was achieved during the first lockdown and the curve was flattened quickly in Melbourne and around Australia,” Levine said.

In the second round of lockdowns, Melburnians “haven’t been as quick to restrict their movement” she added.

“Unfortunately, this level of movement is unlikely to be enough to suppress the spread of COVID-19,” Levine said. “The introduction of mandatory mask wearing in Melbourne last week has introduced an additional measure designed to halt the spread of the virus but its impact on movement levels is uncertain.”

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