NEW analysis by the Labour party shows that footfall across Cheshire West and Chester is down 34 per cent compared to the level pre-pandemic.

The Google mobility data relates to footfall for retail and recreation businesses, including restaurants, cafes, museums and cinemas.

It was provided to the Guardian by Weaver Vale MP Mike Amesbury and suggests that many businesses in the region are still facing significant challenges due to coronavirus.

Footfall on public transport and around workplaces is also down 30 per cent and 15 per cent on pre-lockdown levels respectively.

The Labour party also says that in less than 24 hours, firms will begin to lose support from the Job Retention Scheme and will have to start meeting some of the cost of non-working hours for any retained employees, either fully or partially furloughed.

Data provided states that in the north west, 974,500 people have been furloughed, equivalent to 30 per cent of the workforce.

In the food and accommodation industry, this number is 172,500, equivalent to 75 per cent of the workforce, and 43,500 in arts, entertainment and recreation, equivalent to 60 per cent of the workforce.

Labour is calling on the Government to reverse course and extend the furlough scheme so that it supports jobs in the worst-hit sectors and targets aid to struggling industries.

It says this would put the UK in line with other major developed democracies, with many extending their versions of the Job Retention Scheme or similar wage subsidy schemes:

Meanwhile, the latest ONS data shows that some firms have still not reopened, while a large number of those that have reopened report lower turnover.

A fifth of businesses in the food and accommodation sector have still not been able to reopen, with 84 per cent of those that have reopened are reporting reduced turnover from pre-pandemic levels.