The implementation of governmental Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions (NPIs) has been the primary means of controlling the spread of the COVID-19 disease. One of the intended effects of these NPIs has been to reduce population mobility. Due to the huge costs of implementing these NPIs, it is essential to have a good understanding of their efficacy. Using aggregated mobility data per country, released by Apple and Google we investigated the proportional contribution of NPIs to the magnitude and rate of mobility changes at a multi-national level. NPIs with the greatest impact on the magnitude of mobility change were lockdown measures; declaring a state of emergency; closure of businesses and public services and school closures. NPIs with the greatest effect on the rate of mobility change were implementation of lockdown measures and limitation of public gatherings. As confirmed by chi-square and cluster analysis, separately recorded NPIs like school closure and closure of businesses and public services were closely correlated with each other, both in timing and occurrence. This suggests that the observed significant NPI effects are mixed with and amplified by their correlated NPI measures. We observed direct and similar effects of NPIs on both Apple and Google mobility data. In addition, although Apple and Google data were obtained by different methods they were strongly correlated indicating that they are reflecting overall mobility on a country level. The availability of this data provides an opportunity for governments to build timely, uniform and cost-effective mechanisms to monitor COVID-19 or future pandemic countermeasures.

Original languageEnglish
Article number81
Pages (from-to)81
Journalnpj Digital Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 13 May 2021


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