‘Lockdown fatigue’: Mobile phone data shows Austrians tiring of coronavirus measures

'Lockdown fatigue': Mobile phone data shows Austrians tiring of coronavirus measures
Photo: DPA
Austrians adherence to the country’s coronavirus measures fell significantly in the second wave of the pandemic, mobile phone data has shown.

The news has led to rising concerns about the onset of ‘lockdown fatigue’, Kronen Zeitung reports

The anonymous information which tracks people’s movement via mobile phone data showed a significant decline in movement during the Spring lockdown. 

In Autumn however, the decline was less significant – with Austrians apparently taking the lockdown much less seriously the longer it went on. 

During Spring, the number of Austrians who moved more than a kilometre a day shrank from 73 percent to 45 percent. 

In the summer, values returned to normal. 

Everything you need to know about Austria's latest coronavirus rules

But when Austria’s strict lockdown was announced amid a rise in new infections, mobility fell to around 56 percent, before increasing to around 65 percent in the final days of the lockdown. 

On Wednesday December 9th, the levels were already back to those before the November 17th lockdown. 

The researchers say that the results show a growing “fatigue” with the lockdown rules. 

“I am also curious to see how things will continue in the remaining days in December,” spokesperson Mario Mayerthaler told Kronen Zeitung. 

“The question will be whether the current mobility is sufficient to reduce the number of cases in the future,” said Mayerthaler,

One positive of the findings was that the rules seemed to prevent the annual Christmas shopping rush up until this point, with mobility around half of usual Christmas shopping levels. 

The information was compiled by telecommunications company A1 and Invenium, from the Graz University of Technology.

Information is gathered using SIM card connections with phone masts, enabling researchers to see movement of mobile phones anonymously. 

 


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