Last month, footfall at Britain’s shopping centres was nearly 50 per cent down on an annual basis, data from the British Retail Consortium shows. This is not surprising given that July was the first full month in which all retail outlets across the UK were allowed to reopen following a protracted lockdown.

Yet, it shows the extent to which Western countries are lagging behind most of their Asian peers in their efforts to contain the spread of Covid-19 and reopen their economies.

In China,…