Life is slowly returning to normal in Southend, data suggests, despite the coronavirus restrictions still in place.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has delayed the ending of lockdown by four weeks, meaning all restrictions will now be removed on July 19. 

But Google mobility data suggests the easing of previous restrictions has already seen more people leave their homes and return to old habits.

Google uses location data from phones and other personal devices to track trends in people's movement in different parts of their daily lives.

It compares footfall in five areas outside of the home – retail and recreation, supermarkets and pharmacies, parks, public transport and workplaces – to a five week-baseline period recorded before the Covid-19 crisis.

In Southend, average activity across these categories was 3 per cent above normal levels in the week to June 6 – though complete data was only available for four of these categories.

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This was up significantly from 42 per cent below in the week beginning January 4, when the UK was plunged into its third national lockdown.

Across the UK, average activity peaked at 9 per cent above the baseline between May 31 and June 6 – a higher level than any other week since the UK entered its first lockdown in March 2020.

Google data for the week ending June 6 in Southend shows:

• Activity in retail and recreation establishments was 14per cent above normal levels

• In supermarkets and grocery stores, it was 17 per cent above usual

• Activity in workplaces was 39 per cent below pre-pandemic measurements

• And it was 33 per cent below the baseline on public transport

The data was recorded weeks after the hospitality industry was cleared to serve indoors again and households were permitted to mix inside again.

There has been hope the final easing of restrictions may take place before July 19, with one expert suggesting 'Freedom Day' could actually take place on July 4.

But Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has said it is “unlikely” that coronavirus restrictions in England will be lifted before July 19.

Mr Kwarteng told Sky News today he did not expect that to lead to an earlier relaxation of the current measures.

“I would always err on the side of caution and I would look to July 19. It could be before but I think that is unlikely. Generally we have stuck to the dates we have set,” he said.

“I think now I am very focused on July 19.”