Every state has started to reopen, but smartphone data suggests people are still reluctant to go out

New York restaurants reopen an outdoor pandemic 35
Irene Jiang / Business Insider
All 50 states have started reopening after the closure of COVID-19, with most of the restrictions on shops and restaurants gradually being lifted.
However, the location data of the phone shows that people in the US move less than usual. This is a sign that consumers are still cautious about shopping given the pandemic.
Even in big cities, where car traffic has returned to normal, according to Apple's aggregated mobility data, people walk far less than usual and take public transport.
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All 50 states have reopened after shutting down COVID-19 - but this does not mean that consumers are back to working as usual.
Location data collected from American smartphones suggests that even in states that have been reopening for weeks, people aren't moving and moving as much from home as they were before COVID.
According to data from Apple, which compile mobility trends using anonymized GPS data from iPhones, mobility is still below the typical baseline in most states. Even in countries where traffic has returned to normal, the number of people walking around and using public transport is still low.
There are several plausible reasons why mobility remains low even when states are reopened. The pandemic is far from over, especially in the United States. There was an all-time high number of new cases on Wednesday. And even if states allow companies to reopen, many offices still let employees work remotely.
According to Apple, here is a breakdown of the movements of people in the United States.
In the United States, traffic has largely returned to normal after a March-June slump - but the number of people walking and using public transportation is still lower than usual.
Apple mobility data
Apple
However, the U.S. is still far more mobile than some European counterparts, although COVID-19 cases are increasing faster in the U.S.
Apple mobility trends
Apple
This trend is confirmed in most major cities. California reopened “low risk” stores on May 8th and “higher risk” stores on June 12th, but the Los Angeles people movement remains cautious compared to pre-COVID-19.
Apple mobility data
Apple
In San Francisco, driving, walking and transit use have remained well below the pre-COVID levels.
Apple Mobility Tracker
Apple
San Francisco has maintained stricter shutdown requirements than other cities in California, but most businesses there have been allowed to reopen with social distancing.
In New York City, where most nonessential companies could not be reopened until this week, mobility across the board was lower - but car traffic has almost returned to normal.
Apple Mobility Tracker
Apple
Not all cities have seen less movement across the board. In Atlanta, most companies were able to reopen in May with social distancing measures. Since then, walking and driving have returned to normal levels.
Apple Mobility Tracker
Apple
The Atlanta store reopened on May 22. Cases in Georgia have recently increased, with more than 1,000 new cases a day in the past four days.
Houston has also seen a return to normal pedestrian and driving traffic after the Texas home stay order expired on May 1st. Since then, cases have increased across the state.
Apple Mobility Tracker
Apple
Texas reported more than 5,000 new COVID-19 cases in a single day this week, prompting Governor Greg Abbot to urge people to stay home on Tuesday.
A similar story takes place in Phoenix, Arizona's most populous city, where there has been an increase in coronavirus cases over the past week.
Apple Mobility Tracker
Apple
You can search Apple's full library of mobility data on its website.
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