Assessing the effect of global travel and contact reductions to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic and resurgence
Travel and physical distancing interventions have been implemented across the World to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic, but studies are needed to quantify the effectiveness of these measures across regions and time. Timely population mobility data were obtained to measure travel and contact reductions in 135 countries or territories. During the 10 weeks of March 22 — May 30, 2020, domestic travel in study regions has dramatically reduced to a median of 59% (interquartile range [IQR] 43% — 73%) of normal levels seen before the outbreak, with international travel down to 26% (IQR 12% — 35%). If these travel and physical distancing interventions had not been deployed across the World, the cumulative number of cases might have shown a 97-fold (IQR 79–116) increase, as of May 31, 2020. However, effectiveness differed by the duration and intensity of interventions and relaxation scenarios, with variations in case severity seen across populations, regions, and seasons.