The University’s Covid-19 impact monitor shows that the January lockdown has so far had “one third less impact on movement” than the initial national lockdown last March, and that some areas are still moving at above 50% of pre-pandemic levels. This data is from the 8th of January, 3 days after the national lockdown went into force.

In the March lockdown, population movement fell by 89% on average. During the new lockdown, population movement has fallen by 59% on average. In Oxfordshire, population movement has fallen by 70.13%, a higher decrease than the national average. 

The data shows that the North East is overall the area with the highest population movement, where it has remained above 50% of pre-pandemic levels, with the North West just under 50%. The South East reported the lowest levels of movement, at a third of pre-pandemic movement.

The flow of people outside of their region has only fallen by 22%, whereas in the March lockdown it fell by 65%. Overall, the study classes only 28% of the population as “home stayers,” in comparison to 45% during the first lockdown. 

Nearly 1000 lockdown fines have been handed out by the Thames Valley police since the lockdown started, covering Oxfordshire, Berkshire, and Buckinghamshire. 771 of these were issued in the first few months of the pandemic, with only 97 linked to the November national lockdown. 


Dr Matthias Qian, co-director of the impact monitor, said: “Our mobility measures show signs of lockdown fatigue among Britons. Despite the overflow of hospitals with COVID-19 patients, the behavioural change and mobility patterns responded less than during the March lockdown.”

Dr Adam Saunders, co-director of the impact monitor, said: “As widely reported in the media, there have been growing concerns over adherence to this third lockdown, with pockets of evidence suggesting that some members of the British public have been moving more despite public health warnings highlighting the increased transmissibility of the virus.”

“This latest data shows what we believe to be the first national picture of the third lockdown’s effectiveness along with better insight into why the spread of the virus has proved so difficult to contain this time around.”

Oxford City Council has been contacted for comment.