Abstract

The state of emergency due to COVID-19 and physical distancing measures (closure of airports, borders, schools, universities, places of worship, factories, curfew and ban on gatherings) were announced on 19 March and came into effect on 20 March in Haiti.

In this report, we used Call Detail Records (CDR) to look at changes in mobility in Haiti since the start of the measures (20 March) and up to 09 June, in comparison to baseline patterns from 01 February to 18 March.

We observed a reduction in overall mobility following the introduction of COVID-19 measures, corresponding to the mobility level observed on normal Sundays before the measures were implemented. Travel between cities declined by 30%, and city centres (commercial districts), roadside locations and border points all saw a sharp reduction in the number of visitors (-20%), likely to reflect a reduction in visits to workplaces. On the contrary, villages, rural areas and residential areas surrounding cities and towns generally saw an increase in visitor numbers on average (+10%).

Changes in phone user presence started immediately on the introduction of COVID-19 measures and persisted throughout our study period (up to June 9), with no relaxation overall. COVID-19 measures appear to have a large and countrywide ongoing effect of reducing mobility, as well as a likely negative impact on the economy.

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