The eat out to help out scheme has been used over 10.5m times over the first week, according to new figures from the Treasury.

The scheme, which is to support the hospitality sector, was introduced by Rishi Sunak last month. 

It offers diners a 50% discount, up to £10 per person, through the month of August on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

Sunak has described the first week of the scheme as “amazing”.

“Britons are eating out to help out in big numbers. And they aren’t just getting a great deal – they’re supporting the almost 2 million people employed in this sector. These amazing figures show that our plan for jobs is delivering,” said the Chancellor.

So far, the eat out to help out scheme has cost the government £5m and 83,068 restaurants are signed up to the scheme.

The support for the dining sector has also led to an increased footfall on the high street. Retail analysts at Springboard found that footfall grew by an impressive 18.9% after 6pm across high streets and retails parks across the UK.

“It is clear that it was the post-6pm period that yielded the greatest rise in footfall and also that smaller towns benefited more than large city centres,” said Diane Wehrle, the insights director at Springboard.

“As the scheme continues throughout August and more Britons enjoy staycations across the UK, time will tell if the government scheme provides the boost that retail destinations across the country require for business survival,” she added.

The support for the high street comes at a critical time, where unemployment has reached a decade-high. On one day in June, 6,000 jobs were lost in the retail sector.