Liverpool city centre footfall has dropped by a third since its peak in August due to local Covid-19 restrictions, Liverpool BID Company has said.
Some 425,000 fewer people visited the city centre last month compared with August, according to data from the BID company.
It represents a 10 per cent drop week on week since the start of September.
The data comes as Liverpool BID Company’s chief executive, one of a number of northern business leaders, puts his name to a letter written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson calling for a different approach to the pandemic.
Mr Addy said the next five weeks are “crucial” for Northern cities, such as Liverpool and Manchester.
“These are vibrant, successful, thriving city centres and visitor economies that risk being left to decline if they do not receive the support we have been calling for since early September.”
Mr Addy said Christmas was also “crucial” to its city centres for footfall and tourism, with businesses in Liverpool telling the BID company between 30 and 50 per cent of its annual trading is done in the run-up to Christmas.
He continued: “We need clarity. We need to know the science behind these lockdowns that are gutting our high streets.
“The Government wants to level up the country but it is leaving the North to fall.
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“We need struggling businesses to be supported and that means funds now and clear recovery support lines in place.
“That means jobs being protected. We need a test and trace system that works so we can identify where outbreaks happen and drive numbers down.”
He added: “Retail and hospitality businesses have been one of the hardest hit, they have invested tens of thousands of pounds in safety measures, they have had to police the restrictions, been on the receiving end of abuse and ultimately been told their livelihoods are at risk.
“More has been asked of them than almost any sectors. They have played their part, it’s now the Government’s turn to play theirs.
“Our cities cannot close, the country can’t afford them to.”