Weekly footfall in the West End is down 56% compared to last year, with activity remaining low three months after lockdown was lifted.

Prior to July, footfall had been rising steadily in London’s West End but the rise appears to have stalled with figures up only one per cent compared to August as office workers continue to stay away.  

The continued absence of international tourists who usually make up a third of all visitors and 45% of spending means that spending is likely to be even lower, the group said. 

Jace Tyrrell, chief executive at New West End Company, said: “West End retailers and hoteliers have shown remarkable resilience in retaining staff in the expectation of the return of commuters and tourists. Within the West End without focused and coherent support the government is risking up to 50,000 job losses before the end of the year. 

“Yet rather than offering hope, the treasury is making things worse by scrapping tax relief for overseas visitors. If we are to help the 2.5m across the country who remain on furlough back into the shops, restaurants, hotels where they previously worked we should not be boosting the tourism industry of Paris and Rome by closing our doors to international visitors.”