40 percent rise in movement out of Tallinn follows lifted restrictions

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The easing of COVID-19 restrictions, which include restaurant terraces opening, has been accompanied by a rise in mobility out of Tallinn, Telia says. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Cellphone provider Telia says public mobility in Estonia as a whole grew significantly at the start of May, coinciding with the easing of certain coronavirus restrictions.

Telia conducts the mobility surveys based on the location of cellphones which use its network.

Holger Haljand, head of corporate customers at Telia said: "From May 3, a portion of school students were able to resume contact learning, stores were opened and eateries could start serving customers in their outdoor areas, and this was immediately also reflected in people's mobility."

The increase in city-wide mobility rose by 40 percent between the end of April and early May, with more time spent in stores, at work and at school, Haljand said, adding this would be what you would logically expect following the restrictions' easing.

There was also an 18 percent growth in movement from Tallinn to areas outside the city, particularly those in its immediate vicinity, over the same period, Telia says.

Rae, Saue and Viimsi rural municipalities – in the affluent commuter belt which rings Tallinn – saw the highest rises in mobility at between 21 and 24 percent, Telia says, while the movement in the opposite direction grew at a similar rate, suggesting a rise in commuting.

The growth was even greater from Estonia's second city, Tartu, to other areas, which grew 24 percent in early May compared with late April.

Telia's mobility analysis uses the Telia Crowd Insights platform, which the company says allows the analysis of general grouped movement patterns, as well as changes in movement habits, based on anonymous aggregate data from the mobile network.

The location or movement patterns of any particular person are neither visible nor identifiable, as only anonymized and grouped aggregate data have been used, and the compliance of the solution with the requirements of the personal data protection laws has been ensured, the company says.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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