As the UK locked down amid the coronavirus outbreak, theories abounded about why some parts of the country changed their routines more quickly and to a greater extent than others.
As in the United States and France, many have sought to explain different regions’ behaviours in terms of age, unemployment rates, or politics. Some in the UK have even looked to the Brexit referendum as a signal for a place’s willingness to adhere to distancing guidelines. But the degree to which Britons have cut down on travel to work might have more to do with their employment than their politics or their opinion of the lockdown.
Writing for CityMetric, Michael Goodier and Josh Rayman dig into the data to explore the extent to which regional differences in job types and industries are playing a role in the UK’s lockdown.