Visits to shops increased by more than 4pc last week compared with the previous seven days, as families become increasingly confident about returning to spending money in physical stores.
Retail parks are back to almost 90pc of their usual footfall levels, according to data company Springboard, as shoppers can spend time outdoors and in large, spacious units.
Compared with the same period a year ago, shopping centres are back to just over two-thirds of their normal visitor numbers, marking a sharp increase on the week.
The high street is struggling most to bring customers back, with footfall still down almost 40pc on the year.
Overall, retail footfall is down by 30.7pc compared with the same week in 2019.
This is still painful for the industry, but is a vast improvement on the peak of lockdown in April when footfall was down by more than 80pc and only shops selling "essentials" were allowed to open.
Retail sales volumes last month were firmly above their pre-crisis levels, the Office for National Statistics said, as consumers are happy to spend money.
Although people had started to return to the shops in bigger numbers in July, online sales remained the big winner, up 50pc on February’s levels.
One possible reason for stronger footfall is that the usual summer exodus on holiday has been hindered by quarantine measures, encouraging more people to stay either at home or at least in Britain.
“It seems that the increased quarantine measures imposed last week on a number of overseas destinations are having a positive impact on UK footfall,” said Diane Wehrle at Springboard.
“Footfall in UK retail destinations last week not only rose on a week on week basis, but the uplift was more than four times as large as the week before, and two and a half times as large as the same week last year.
“The outcome is a further incremental recovery in footfall compared with 2019, and the 16th consecutive week in which the annual decline has lessened which offers a glimmer of hope for retailers.”
By region, the south east of England reversed some of its recent woes with a rise of 7.1pc on the week.
Central London showed a few signs of life with footfall up almost 13pc on the week, however its visitor numbers remain down more than 60pc compared with August last year.
Coastal towns and market towns are among the best performing, with footfall now recovering to within 30pc of last summer’s levels, while outer London has also reached this threshold.