We are doing science for policy
The Joint Research Centre (JRC) is the European Commission's science and knowledge service which employs scientists to carry out research in order to provide independent scientific advice and support to EU policy.
This work introduces the concept of data-driven Mobility Functional Areas (MFAs) as geographic zones with high degree of intra-mobility exchanges. Such information, calculated at European regional scale thanks to mobile data, can be useful to inform targeted reescalation policy responses in cases of future COVID-19 outbreaks (avoiding large-area or even national lockdowns). In such events, the geographic distribution of MFAs would define territorial areas to which lockdown interventions could be limited, with the result of minimising socio-economic consequences of such policies. The analysis of the time evolution of MFAs can also be thought of as a measure of how human mobility changes not only in intensity but also in patterns, providing innovative insights into the impact of mobility containment measures. This work presents a first analysis for 15 European countries (14 EU Member States and Norway).