Coronavirus Pandemic: UK on Lockdown
By Eliman Dambell
Monday evening saw Boris Johnson announce what many had anticipated, a lockdown of the UK in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic. This lockdown will mean that those living in the UK will only be allowed out of the house for one of 4 reasons. The first of those reasons being those in search of food supplies. Thereafter exercising once a day. This will be followed by those travelling for work, who cannot otherwsie work from home, and lastly anyone who must commute to provide care.
These guidelines came as the Prime Minister felt that that some in the UK still hadn’t fully come to terms with the severeness of the current pandemic, with many still socialising with friends and family in public places, although warned not to.
The Prime Minister’s Guidelines
- “Shopping for basic necessities such as food and medicine. Shopping trips should be as infrequent as possible”
- “One form of exercise a day such as a run, walk or cycle. This should be done alone or only with people you live with”
- “Any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person. This includes moving children under the age of 18 between their parents’ homes, where applicable. Key workers or those with children identified as vulnerable can continue to take their children to school”
- “Travelling to and from work, but only where work absolutely cannot be done from home”
These measures will be reassessed in 3 weeks to see if they can be removed, or even tightened depending how the spread matures.
Reducing the spread
This move comes as many had anticipated, and even hoped was implemented sooner to reduce the spread of the virus. By reducing daily social interaction, the hope is that the transfer of the virus will be greatly reduced. As seen in the below graph cases in the UK have been on a rampant rise, with close to 5% of those infected, dying from the virus. Many are not able to get the full help from the NHS as resources become strained.
The lockdown comes with the hope that with the amount of new cases lessening, the NHS will be in a better position to test more and help more patients than otherwise able to. Those visiting Accident and Emergency units reporting non COVID-19 related issues will also potentially fall, meaning that the NHS will be in full effect dealing with mostly helping those who need it the most at this moment in time.
Has this impacted UK Financial Markets
The Pound showed slight movements against the USD as the PM gave his speech.After a day of losses going from trading at $1.16790 to $1.14420, the speech saw a twist of faith with markets rallying from those lows to hitting what looks like a price resistance of $1.17822. Now this coming Thursday sees Andrew Bailey and the Bank of England giving a rate decision which some expect to remain unchanged, after recently reducing rates 2 weeks ago to 0.10%. However with a 3 week lockdown now announced, it will be interesting to see how the bank reacts.