Data shows Torontonians increasing travel to regions with fewer COVID-19 restrictions

Mar 15 2021, 8:05 pm

Recent data from electronic devices indicates that Torontonians are increasing travel to other parts of Ontario where COVID-19 restrictions are less severe.

At a press conference on Monday, Mayor John Tory said that cellphone data shows “thousands of people” are travelling to shopping malls in other regions.

It also shows that more people are coming into the city.

While he acknowledged that some of that travel could be chalked up to people going to work, Tory urged everyone who can stay home to continue doing so.

“We’re so close [to] the time when lots of people will have been vaccinated and where we are now,” Tory said.

“We can just bridge that gap… by having people just stay home and keep their distance from each other.”

Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health shared similar statistics, revealing that recent figures which measure device time at home show a decline to 78.6%, which means that fewer people are staying close to home.

“We’re on the move again and, although the risks remain, in some respects, they are higher than ever because of COVID-19 variants,” Dr. Eileen de Villa said.

As well, she noted that there has been a “great deal of mobility” between jurisdictions in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area.

While some of the travel is related to essential work, de Villa said it’s something “we need to keep an eye on.”

“The advice has continued to be, even at the provincial level, to stay as close to home as much as possible,” de Villa said.

“We have much power within our own hands to shape the future and to help get us back to life more like it was before COVID-19, at the earliest possible moment.”

To date, Ontario has seen 319,374 COVID-19 cases and 7,162 virus-related deaths.

Zoe DemarcoZoe Demarco

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