Prime Minister Boris Johnson has introduced new restrictions on coronaviruses following the spread of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus – including advising those who can work from home to do so from Monday, December 13.
Google uses location data from phones and other personal devices to track the movement patterns of people in different areas of their daily lives, including their workplace.
The most recent figures show that workplace activity in Doncaster during the working week up to 17 December was 24.6% lower than in a five-week benchmark period recorded before the coronavirus pandemic.
But that remained unchanged between the five days and December 10, bucking the national trend.
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A month earlier, it was 25.4% below the baseline, during the week ending November 19.
Workplace activity across the UK was 29.6% below normal in data for the most recent week – the lowest level since the end of October.
Plan B measures for England include the wider wearing of face masks, the mandatory use of Covid passes to access major sites and a return to work from home.
The Institute of Trustees said it had an impact on businesses and resulted in lower consumer demand at the “worst possible time” for parts of the economy.
Alex Hall-Chen, senior policy adviser at IoD, praised the government’s targeted support program for affected businesses, but said it does not go far enough.
He added: âBusiness leaders crave certainty so they can plan and invest with confidence.
“Therefore, we also expect the Prime Minister to clear up speculation about introducing additional restrictions in the days following Christmas.”
When the new guidelines were released, the Confederation of British Industry said the government was correct in advising those who can work from home to do so – but that should be reversed as soon as it is safe.
A CBI spokesperson said working from home comes at a significant economic cost by restricting trade for some businesses and impacting mental health.
He added: âSome economic activities are being moved to local areas, but this also leaves our cities and inner cities under pressure for retailers and hospitality.
âWith the push for a booster deployment by the end of the year, the government is expected to use the Jan. 5 review to identify a new regime based on testing, workplaces safe from Covid and antivirals, to state his intention to end the pressure to work from home. “
Google figures also suggest that people across the UK were using public transport less last week.
Average activity at bus and train stations was 33.2% below normal in the week ending December 17 – the lowest since August.
In Doncaster it was 37.8% below normal at that time, down from 36.4% below the week before.
A government spokesperson said: ‘We have supported the jobs and incomes of people throughout the pandemic through our Â£ 400 billion support program, and will continue to do so through our support program additional Â£ 1 billion.
“We will continue to closely review any emerging evidence and keep our measures under review as we learn more about this variant.”