Friends and family, holidays and meals out feature heavily in the top three things that consumers are looking forward to as lockdown restrictions are lifted.

Almost as many people were missing having a meal in a restaurant (83%) or taking a holiday (86%) as spending time with friends and family (91%), a new PwC study reveals.

For single most important priorities, the gym (10%) came ahead of every category except friends and family (47%) and holiday (21%), according to the consumer sentiment survey for June.

The results came ahead of pubs and restaurants in England being able to re-open on July 4 – so-called ‘Independence Day’.

But some consumers not yet ready to return to the high street despite the opening of non-essential shops following three months of lockdown

More than half of the 2,068 consumers polled do not plan to return until ‘things get back to normal’, with a further 20%-30% saying they would rather ‘wait a few months’.

Few consumers said that they will return ‘immediately’, ranging from 17% of gym-goers to just 7% of airline users.

PwC hospitality and leisure leader David Trunkfield said: “Although more consumers will likely participate in activities once they see others doing so safely, leisure operators may struggle to persuade others to return in the short term, particularly with ‘back to normal’ months or even longer away.

“Therefore, after the initial excitement of ‘Independence Day’, sales could fall off if enough customers don’t believe it’s safe to return over the summer.

“On a positive note, fewer than 5% say they won’t return to leisure at all.

“Higher spending 25-34 year olds are more enthusiastic than other age groups, with one in five saying they’ll return to pubs and restaurants immediately, and almost a quarter saying they’ll be at the gym on opening day.”