LIFE in Cumbria this summer was much more normal than last year, data suggests, with footfall even surpassing pre-pandemic levels.

All coronavirus restrictions were lifted in England on July 19, with people allowed back in hospitality venues without needing to socially distance for the first time since March 2020.

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 Cumbria, average activity across these categories was 43 per cent above normal levels between July and September.

This was up significantly from summer 2020, when footfall was 15 per cent above the baseline.

Most rules were relaxed last summer in England, with shops, outdoor hospitality and indoor venues reopened – though nightclubs remained shut, large-scale events were banned and social distancing rules were still in place.

Across the UK, activity increased from 8% below normal levels last summer, to three per cent above this year.

Retail and recreation establishments – such as restaurants, cafes and shopping centres – saw a 17 percentage point increase, matched only by supermarkets and pharmacies.