Quebecers are massing in parks during the COVID-19 third wave, Google mobility data shows

Laurier Park has been packed during the COVID-19 third wave, as Montrealers take advantage of the warm weather to beat the pandemic fatigue. (Daniel J. Rowe/CTV News)

As the COVID-19 third wave continues, Quebecers are flocking to open outdoor spaces.

Google has been tracking citizens' mobility who have their location history activated on their phones and compared the data to benchmark data from before the pandemic began in February 2020.

Visits to parks, public beaches, marinas, dog parks, plazas and public gardens increased by 81 per cent over the past week as the weather warmed in the province.

In Laval the number was up 119 per cent and in Montreal it was up 96 per cent.

In zones facing stricter lockdown measures, people are still heading out more.

Residents of the three cities that were put under lockdown recently after new case numbers surged seem eager to leave their residences as well: Gatineau (+78 per cent) Quebec City's (+56 per cent) Levis (+49 per cent).

With the third wave raging, Quebecers are still choosing to stay home 13 per cent more than the baseline, but heading to retail and recreation sites such as restaurants, cafes and shopping centres is predictably down 22 per cent.

Public transit numbers are also down by more than half (53 per cent), while about a third (33 per cent) fewer people are heading to their places of work.

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