Shops, restaurants and entertainment venues in Braintree saw a boost following the reopening of indoor hospitality, but footfall remained below levels before the Covid pandemic, new figures reveal.

In Braintree, average activity across these areas was 27 per cent below normal levels across the two weekends – May 8-9 and May 15-16 – prior the lifting of restrictions on indoor hospitality on May 17.

The data, from Google, uses location data from phones and other personal devices to track trends in peoples movement.

It compares footfall in areas where there is retail and recreation such as restaurants, cafes and shopping centres to a five week-baseline period recorded before the Covid-19 crisis.

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On the Saturday and Sunday of the Spring Bank Holiday on May 31, increased activity meant it was 7 per cent below normal levels.

Then across the final two weekends with data – July 3-4 and July 10-11 – footfall fell to 10 per cent below pre-pandemic levels.

Data shows that the busiest weekend for activity in retail and recreation areas in Braintree was May 29-30.

The figures will have been impacted by the easing of Covid restrictions across England on May 17, which allowed restaurants and pubs to open indoor areas for food and drink.

Cinemas, hotels and children's play areas were also given the go-ahead to reopen, along with indoor sporting and entertainment venues.