Analysts reported an”alarming uplift” in visits to stores last weekend as the authorities appealed for people to comply with the UK’s lockdown restrictions. Figures from retail statistics expert Springboard showed an 81% decrease in footfall last week compared to the same period last year, as all but essential services were closed in the struggle against coronavirus.
Springboard noted visits to stores rising by 9.5percent on Saturday compared with the identical day a week ago. The figure increased by 21.3% over the Sunday, despite repeated government warnings about the health and safety implications of visiting public spaces.
The report stated: “The growth on Sunday was especially noticeable in London (+51.4%), in other big cities (+32%) and in coastal cities across the UK (29.6percent ) that are key locations for leisure trips but not as important for shopping.”It added: “With the warm weather set to continue within the northeast Easter weekend, this brings into question what additional steps the authorities will have to apply to curtail this motion.
“With the close of all but essential stores, the bank holiday weekend will be unrecognisable in what is generally the most important trading period for merchants beyond Christmas.”Ministers have threatened to tighten lockdown limitations and prohibit outside exercise unless the public observes the social distancing principles – designed to assist lower disease rates and safeguard the NHS.
The Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Sunday: “The huge majority of individuals are following the general public health information, which is absolutely crucial, and staying at home.”But there are a small minority of individuals that are still not doing this – it is quite unbelievable frankly to understand that there are a few men and women that aren’t following the guidance.”
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