New figures from DublinTown show that footfall in Dublin city centre has continued to fall as people work from home and exercise social distancing. 

Footfall in the city centre declined by 80.3% during the week ended March 29, DublinTown said today.

The business association said the downward trend in footfall accelerated as the week progressed.

Footfall was down by 71.2% on Monday March 23 but by Sunday March 29 - following the Taoiseach's announcement of further restrictions - it had sank by 90%. 

Streets with grocery shops and pharmacies showed the highest levels of footfall, DublinTown said. 

The decline on Talbot Street was 51%, while Moore Street's football declined by 62% - this compared to a decline of 93% on South William Street and 87% on Grafton Street. 

The decline on Henry Street and Mary Street, which have two shopping centres with grocery and pharmacy outlets, was 78%.

DublinTown's 2,500 members are based between Parnell Street to the north of the city to St Stephen's Green to the south. 

It predicted that footfall in the city centre area will be down by between 87% and 92% for the remainder of the current crisis.

Richard Guiney, CEO of DublinTown, said the association supports the principle of keeping employees on the books of their employer,.

The Covid-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme is an excellent way to maintain employees on the books, he added.

"Maintaining employment will clearly provide some reassurance for employees at this difficult and uncertain time, while it will also be crucial in enabling the economy to bounce back when the crisis has passed," Richard Guiney said. 

But he also said that some employers remain nervous of the scheme due to a declaration that they are unable to pay normal wages and normal outgoings, which insolvency experts have noted is akin to a declaration of insolvency.  

"The declaration should be amended so that employers declare that their turnover has reduced by 25% or more due to the Covid-19 crisis and without support they would be required to lay off staff or make them redundant," Mr Guiney said.