Research Insights: How Much Has Human Mobility Been Reduced by Social Distancing Policies in Latin America and the Caribbean?
The lockdowns implemented in Latin America and the Caribbean in March 2020 reduced the share of people who travel more than 1 km (about 0.6 miles) per day by 10 percentage points during the 15 days following its implementation. The effects of the lockdowns declined over time: the effect amounted to 12 percentage points during the first week and to 9 percentage points during the second week of the implementation of the lockdowns. In contrast, school closures reduced mobility by only 5 percentage points, and no effects were found for bar and restaurant closures or the cancellation of public events. The results suggest that lockdowns are a tool that can produce reductions in mobility quickly. This is important given the expectation that reduced mobility slows the spread of COVID-19.