The COVID-19 pandemic has posed novel risks related to the indoor mixing of individuals from different households and challenged policymakers to adequately regulate this behaviour. While in many cases household visits are necessary for the purpose of social care, they have been linked to broadening community transmission of the virus. In this study we propose a novel, privacy-preserving framework for the measurement of household visitation at national and regional scales, making use of passively collected mobility data. We implement this approach in England from January 2020 to May 2021. The measures expose significant spatial and temporal variation in household visitation patterns, impacted by both national and regional lockdown policies, and the rollout of the vaccination programme. The findings point to complex social processes unfolding differently over space and time, likely informed by variations in policy adherence, vaccine relaxation, and regional interventions.
Recommended citation: Ross, S., Breckenridge, G., Zhuang, M. et al. Household visitation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sci Rep 11, 22871 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-02092-7