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Hospitality footfall declines amid government urging social distancing

Hospitality footfall across the UK has declined by 45% yesterday (16 March) compared with the same day last year, amid the recent outbreak of coronavirus.

According to research by customer data company Wireless Social, footfall decreased by 33% in the past week compared with the same period last year, with footfall falling 37% year-on-year over the weekend.

The report revealed that London was the hardest hit area yesterday, with a 47% decrease in footfall, followed by Liverpool, which saw a 44% decrease.

Birmingham saw hospitality footfall slump by 38% and Manchester saw a 37% decrease, followed by Edinburgh which saw declines of 36%.

Newcastle, Bristol and Cardiff experienced the lowest decline in footfall, although the numbers were still “significant”, down by 27%, 30% and 33% respecitvely.

The news comes after Boris Johnson urged the public to practice “social distancing” by staying at home instead of eating out, going to the pub and going to the theatre in a bid to delay the spread of the coronavirus.

Although many businesses are struggling with the rapid decline in footfall, Johnson stopped short of forcing restaurants and pubs to close.

UK Hospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “This is catastrophic for businesses and jobs. The government has effectively shut the hospitality industry without any support, and this announcement will lead to thousands of businesses closing their doors for good, and hundreds of thousands of job losses.”

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