Steady rise in number travelling further than 10km from home

CSO data suggests breaches of 5km travel limit. 36% of people make trips beyond 10km

Traffic on the M50 during lockdown in January. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Traffic on the M50 during lockdown in January. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill


Increasing numbers of people are travelling beyond 10km of their homes, with higher mobility reported across every county in the country, according to latest figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

There has been a steady rise in the numbers of people travelling more than 10km outside of their home since January, as the strict Covid-19 lockdown measures wear on.

A 5km travel limit was imposed in late December, as part of Level 5 restrictions to combat a huge surge in Covid-19 cases.

The restrictions do not apply to people travelling for work, education, to buy food or other necessary items, for caring duties or other essential reasons.

More than one-third of people, about 36 per cent, travelled further than 10km from their homes in the week ending February 25th, according to CSO figures.

This is up from the 33 per cent of people recorded travelling further than 10km from their home in the week ending February 12th.

The CSO’s Staying Local Indicator (SLI) uses anonymised mobile phone data to measure people’s movements over a seven-day period.

Dublin continues to have the highest percentage of its population staying within 10km of home, with 77.4 per cent of people “staying local” under the CSO’s indicator.

In comparison, more rural counties such as Roscommon had the lowest level of compliance, with nearly 50 per cent of people moving outside 10km of their homes.

The CSO said this was likely due to the “urbanised nature and access to services” in Dublin, with people not having to travel large distances to shops or for other essential trips, compared to more rural counties.

Wicklow had the second highest level of people “staying local”, with more than two thirds of the population remaining within 10km of their homes, according to the CSO report.

This was followed by counties Louth, Waterford, Cork, Limerick, and Meath.

Sligo saw the greatest increase in numbers travelling further than 10km, at 46.6 per cent of its population, up from 44 per cent the previous week.

The CSO said the “staying local” figures were based on anonymised, aggregated, mobile phone activity records from Three Ireland. The figures are collated from anonymised data sets at a macro scale, aggregated by electoral division and provided to the Department of Health. No personal data is provided or analysed as part of the work.