The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly altered urban mobility patterns, leading to alterations in daily travel behavior. Scholars have attributed this shift to the perceived risk of epidemic, positing that a higher perception of epidemic risk acts as a deterrent to daily mobility. Despite some evidence supporting this viewpoint, there is also conflicting evidence suggesting a lack of correlation between perceived risk and mobility. This paper seeks to reconcile these conflicting predictions by proposing that the relationship between perceived risk and daily mobility is contingent on the extent of travel flexibility. A questionnaire survey of 384 Hong Kong residents was conducted, and the results indicate that the relationship between perceived risk and daily mobility is heterogeneous and that travel flexibility plays a significant role in moderating the relationship between perceived susceptibility and daily mobility. Our study underscores the crucial role of travel flexibility in comprehending the relationship between perceived risk and daily mobility.
Exploring the Interplay of Perceived Risk and Travel Flexibility in Daily Mobility Change: Evidence from Hong Kong’s COVID-19 Pandemic