Waltham Forest shoppers are returning to the borough’s high streets, markets and shopping centres - but it is too early to know how business is faring.

A spokesperson for The Mall in Walthamstow said the centre had been “encouraged by the footfall levels” seen since June 15 when non-essential shops reopened.

Cllr Simon Miller, responsible for economic growth and housing development, said it was “brilliant to see our high streets and markets come back to life this week”.

He added: “For many businesses and traders, this has been a long wait and we know what a challenging time this has been for everyone.

“We want to encourage our residents to be able to shop locally, so we are working with our businesses to ensure they are adhering to safety guidelines such as enabling social distancing where possible and introducing effective queuing systems.

“As part of our economic recovery plan to mitigate against the economic impact of Covid-19, our high streets are a key priority.

“We will begin a process of reimagining our high streets to ensure they meet changing demands, maximise investment opportunities and are fit for the future.”

Walthamstow Market reopened at the start of June and, despite crowds of shoppers, some traders said they had been struggling to reach their usual level of sales.

Read more: Walthamstow Market traders describe how reopening went

At the Mall in Walthamstow, a spokesperson said they were “very pleased” by turn-out so far.

They added: “While Walthamstow and all of our centres have remained opened throughout the lockdown for access to essential services, many more of our retailers reopened on June 15 following the lifting of lockdown restrictions by the government.

“While it is too early to provide specific details on trading, we are very pleased to have welcomed back so many of our regular guests and were encouraged by the footfall levels at the centre.

“We would like to thank all our guests and retailer customers for adhering to the social distancing guidelines throughout the day.”

Safety measures introduced at The Mall include a one-way system and a traffic light system showing how close the centre is to reaching capacity.

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