1. Policies restricting social interaction during the COVID-19 pandemic may be linked to an increase in depression rates.
2. An increase in the proportion of individuals staying home due to policy restrictions was associated with higher depression scores, even after the widespread availability of vaccinations, with mandatory mask-wearing and event cancellations being significant contributing factors.
3. While causation could not be established, the results underscore the need for interventions promoting social engagement during periods of limited mobility in future pandemics or long-lasting disasters to address the correlation between mobility restrictions and depressive symptoms.