// Footfall across UK high streets may never recover to pre-pandemic levels, ministers warn
// Boris Johnson confirmed plans to lift restrictions on England’s “freedom day” on July 19
Ministers have warned that footfall across high streets in the UK may never reach pre-pandemic levels as Boris Johnson confirmed plans to lift restrictions in shops, restaurants and pubs on England’s “freedom day” on July 19.
Minister for regional growth and local government, Luke Hall, said Covid-19 had been the “largest, most synchronised shot to the economy, our social lives and the high street in living memory” and a full recovery could be impossible.
The BRC-LDC Vacancy Monitor found that more than one in seven shops were vacant across UK high streets by April.
“There has been a significant drop in footfall since the start of the pandemic and unfortunately a rise in vacancy rates,” Hall said.
“The reality is we don’t yet know if footfall will recover to pre-pandemic levels.
“There’s a number of factors which will affect and determine it, like the confidence to just go back and start shopping again on the high street and and changing working habits.”