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Mapping Mobility Functional Areas (MFA) using Mobile Positioning Data to Inform COVID-19 Policies

Abstract: 

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).