Life in Northumberland edging back to pre-pandemic normality

Everyday life in Northumberland is inching nearer to normality during the summer, new data suggests.

By Patrick Jack
Thursday, 7th October 2021, 11:48 am
Updated Friday, 8th October 2021, 1:30 pm
Edging back to normality
Edging back to normality

After coronavirus restrictions were lifted on July 19, the number of shoppers, and people using parks and open spaces both increased to pre-pandemic levels – but workplace activity and public transpor use still lagged.

Google location data from phones and other personal devices which track trends in people's movement during their daily lives, shows average activity in the area was 38% above normal levels between July and September – though this was driven by a 188% increase in activity at parks and public places.

The data for July to September in Northumberland shows:

*Retail and recreation activity was 10% above normal levels.

*Footfall in supermarkets and grocery stores was up 24%.

*Activity in parks and public spaces was was 188% above pre-pandemic levels.

*Public transport use was 10% down.

*Workplaces activity was 22% below normal.

The British Retail Consortium said its figures, nationally, show footfall in high streets, retail parks and shopping centres rose from July to August, but was still below normal.

Kyle Monk, director of insights at the BRC, said: “While it is doubtless that the reduction in restrictions and rise in vaccinations have greatly helped footfall regain ground since last year, it remains well below pre-pandemic levels."

Paul Martin, UK head of retail at accounting company KPMG, said: "Following a period of extensive lockdown, there was certainly pent-up demand from consumers to get out and into stores to enjoy the physical shopping experience they had missed.