The Government have been urging people to return to their offices in the city centre, but most Mancunians aren’t braving the trains, buses and trams just yet – with estimations that there’s only between 25% and 40% of the normal number of people heading into the city each day.
That’s certainly true of our local train service to the city centre – pre-Covid, you’d have to fight for a seat during the rush-hour, but now you could take your own sweet time, and you could even help yourself to have ten or possibly even twenty seats!
It’s probably not a big surprise, given that greater Manchester is still in local lockdown – people aren’t allowed to meet up with (m)any friends, family, or relatives, and most local businesses with offices have been telling workers not to put themselves at risk by heading back into the office. Some have even shuttered their glamourous city-centre offices for now, and told employees that they don’t need to even think about coming back to the office until 2021.
All of which makes for disappointing news for the people with shops, restaurants, cafes, bars, hair salons, etc… in the city centre, who, up until now, have relied upon the commuting office workers to come and buy something to eat, something to drink, get their hair done, etc…
And the figures are worse than 25% for foreign tourists, who are simply staying away – all the more so now that there’s Premier League football matches, gigs, nightlife or events to entice them over.
All in all, it’s a tough time to be a business in Manchester right now, and there’s no obvious signs that anything will improve in the short term.
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