How COVID-19 and the Dutch ‘intelligent lockdown’ change activities, work and travel behaviour: Evidence from longitudinal data in the Netherlands

Mathijs de Haas*, Roel Faber, Marije Hamersma

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

498 Citations (Scopus)


COVID-19 has massively affected the lives of people all over the world. This paper presents first insights in current and potential future effects of the virus and the Dutch government's ‘intelligent lockdown’ on people's activities and travel behaviour. Findings are based on a representative sample of about 2500 respondents from the Netherlands Mobility Panel (MPN). We show that approximately 80% of people reduced their activities outdoors, with a stronger decrease for older people. 44% of workers started or increased the amount of hours working from home and 30% have more remote meetings. Most of these workers report positive experiences. Students and school pupils, however, are mostly not happy with following education from home. Furthermore, the amount of trips and distance travelled dropped by 55% and 68% respectively when compared to the fall of 2019. So-called ‘roundtrips’ (e.g. a walking or cycling tour) gained in popularity. People are currently more positive towards the car and far more negative towards public transport. Changes in outdoor activities seem to be temporal, with over 90% of people who currently reduced their outdoor activities not expecting to continue this behaviour in the future after corona. However, 27% of home-workers expect to work from home more often in the future. In addition, 20% of people expect to cycle and walk more and 20% expect to fly less in the future. These findings show that the coronavirus crisis might result in structural behavioural changes, although future longitudinal analyses are needed to observe these possible structural effects.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100150
JournalTransportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Coronavirus
  • COVID-19
  • Longitudinal travel data
  • Netherlands Mobility Panel (MPN)
  • Panel data
  • Travel behaviour


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