Monday 28 September 2020 3:06 pm

High street footfall plunges after 10pm hospitality curfew introduced

High street footfall dropped sharply last week following the introduction of a 10pm curfew for pubs and restaurants as part of measures to reduce the spread of coronavirus.

Retail footfall has been gradually increasing as coronavirus restrictions have been lifted. 

Read more: Parliament scraps plans to exempt its own bars from 10pm curfew

However fears over a second wave of the virus prompted the government to impose a curfew on hospitality venues from Thursday, which has caused high street shopper numbers to drop. 

Footfall declined by 6.8 per cent across UK high streets, with visitor numbers falling 36.4 per cent between 10pm and 12am on Friday compared to the previous week. 

The ban on pubs, bars and restaurants opening past 10pm pushed footfall down 55.4 per cent after 11pm. 

However retail park and shopping centre visitor numbers rose 1.1 per cent and 0.9 per cent respectively. 

Footfall across all retail destinations was down three per cent week on week, and was 28 per cent lower than 2019. 

Read more: Night-time businesses slam 10pm curfew as ‘devastating’

Springboard insights director Diane Wehrle said: “There was an immediate and downward shift in footfall in high streets from Wednesday onwards, which was inevitable given the prevalence of hospitality and the fact that the majority of offices are based in towns and city centres. 

“Unsurprisingly, the compulsory closure of hospitality outlets at 10pm from Thursday onward led a huge drop in footfall in high streets after 11pm.

“Despite the impact on footfall of the increased government restrictions from Thursday there was little impact on the annual result, as footfall actually rose marginally over the three days from Sunday to Tuesday, possibly due to consumers making trips in advance of further restrictions, which helped to offset the drops later in the week.”

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