It feels like an eternity ago that the then Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, introduced Ireland's first lockdown at the end of March, and now, almost eight months on, we're two weeks out from the end of our second national lockdown.
A lot has happened and changed in our day-to-day lives since the Covid-19 pandemic gripped the world.
With that in mind, Google Maps has analysed data before and during the pandemic to see how people have been getting around, where they are spending their time and what type of food they’re craving.
Interest in cycling is up
Across the country, people are opting for solo ways to get around safely. Unsurprisingly, driving continues to be the most popular mode of transportation while cycling has emerged as an alternative - interest in cycling has increased 32% nationwide and 36% in Dublin compared to pre-pandemic days.
Social distancing in a winter wonderland
Popular times and live busyness information in Google Maps have always been essential festive season tools, helping you avoid unwanted crowds. These tools help you know in advance when places are going to be busy so you can save precious time and also social distance.
So if you find yourself in need of a caffeine fix to tackle your Christmas errands, make sure to avoid coffee shops on Saturday mornings at Midday when coffee shops across Ireland tend to be most packed. And if you’re planning to shop for your Christmas feast, avoid your local supermarket on Saturday afternoons between 1-2 p.m. when you’re likely to encounter long lines.
Chinese is the most searched cuisine in Ireland
With indoor dining shut for many months of the year and indoor dining capacity reduced, search interest in Take-aways has soared throughout the year. As for what people are eating, Chinese is the most-searched-for cuisine followed by Indian, Kebabs and Italian.
Time to embrace the outdoors
Across the country, people are using Google Maps to search for parks, waterfalls, beaches and gardens within driving or walking distance. While searches for outdoor locations decreased by 456% in April, when the toughest restrictions were in place May was the most popular month for outdoor searches with an increase of 84% in searches. The Top Outdoor search queries for Dublin are: Phoenix Park, Marlay Park, Bushy Park, Saint Anne's Park and Ticknock Forest.
The festive season is going to look a little different this year because of COVID-19. Family gatherings may be smaller or take place virtually to make sure everyone stays safe and healthy. Indoor activities could move outdoors. And the holiday abroad might become an Irish road trip to discover some local hidden gems.
But even still, people are looking for ways to experience winter and finding new ways to be together. No matter what plans people have this winter these Google Maps tips will help them to stay informed, stay connected, and save time.
Stay informed even while shopping and travelling
- Check out how busy a place is: Popular times and live busyness information can tell you how crowded a place typically is on a given day or time–and even how busy it is right now. This is especially handy during the era of social distancing, Check out busyness on Maps before you head to a restaurant, store, business, or place to avoid holiday crowds and long waits.
- Find the latest information about COVID-19: Are you visiting family in another country? Use the COVID layer on Maps to quickly see how cases are trending in the area. You can also access quick links to authoritative local resources so you know at a glance if there are specific guidelines or restrictions in the area you’re visiting.
- Quickly understand safety precautions from a business: If you're eating out or getting a head start on your Christmas shopping, you can easily learn more about what safety precautions a business is taking. Find out if they’re sanitizing between customers, if there's safety dividers at checkout and if they require staff to have regular temperature checks.
Connect with family and friends this season
- Share your ETA with friends and family: Don’t leave your friends and family wondering where you are! You can let your contacts know when they can expect you with just a few taps.
- Meet up with ease with Live View: If you’re meeting up with friends for a socially distant gathering, it can be hard to pinpoint where they are. If your loved one has chosen to share their location with you, you can use augmented reality in Live View to see where and how far away they are–with overlaid arrows and directions that help you know where to go.
Save time so you can spend more time enjoying the festivities
Easily find a local restaurant offering take-away: If you’re taking a low-key approach to festivities this year and opting to order in instead of going out or cooking an elaborate meal, Google Maps can help. When searching on your phone for restaurants nearby, you can easily sort by places that offer takeaway or delivery and place your order directly from Google Maps.