After suffering a drop yesterday things began to look up for sterling as the day progressed, advancing against the euro. However, the growth of 0.25 percent soon came to an abrupt halt following the news that the Prime Minister’s health was worsening due to coronavirus.
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A Downing Street spokesperson confirmed that Boris Johnson had been moved to intensive care last night after being admitted to hospital for worsening symptoms.
The Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab will now stand-in for the Prime Minister.
A No10 spokesman said: “Since Sunday evening, the Prime Minister has been under the care of doctors at St Thomas’ Hospital, in London, after being admitted with persistence symptoms of coronavirus.
“Over the course of this afternoon, the condition of the Prime Minister has worsened and, on the advice of his medical team, he has been moved to the Intensive Care Unit at the hospital.
“The PM has asked Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who is the First Secretary of State, to deputise for him where necessary.
“The PM is receiving excellent care, and thanks to all NHS staff for their hard work and dedication.”
The news had an instant knock-on effect for the pound, which had previously been gaining ground amid expert comment that the infection rates of the virus appeared to be slowing on a global scale.
The pound is currently trading at a rate of 1.1336 against the euro according to Bloomberg at the time of writing.
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Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk Michael Brown, Currency Expert at Caxton FX said: “Sterling advanced against the euro on Monday, adding around 0.25 percent, as risk appetite broadly improved amid tentative signs that coronavirus infection rates may be slowing around the world.
“The pound’s gains were, however, pared after news of PM Johnson’s move to intensive care broke late last night.
“Today, investors will continue to pay close attention to the PM’s health, and to the progress of the coronavirus pandemic around the world.”
Along with causing chaos in the medical world, the virus has forced the closure of borders and put a stop of travel on a worldwide scale.
- Coronavirus holidays: UK domestic tourism faces losses amid pandemic
Over the weekend the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office changed its travel warning from a 30-day period to an indefinite period.
The FCO is now advising people to avoid “all but essential travel” until further notice, a devastating decision for the travel industry, and one that may concern holidaymakers.
For those who have already purchased their travel money, it may be best to hold onto it for future travel.
Many bureau de changes have closed their doors amid the pandemic, making it hard to find the best rates.
The Post Office warned that the ability to purchase Travel Money online from the Post Office website and the use of its branch pre-order service are now suspended.
“Both services will remain suspended whilst strict self-isolation measures remain in place,” said the Post Office in a statement.
However, travel money cards will remain active, customers can transfer the money back to Pound Sterling and continue to use the card during the pandemic.
For those who do not have a travel money card, it may be best to hold onto any foreign currency for now.
Ian Strafford-Taylor, CEO of Equals (formerly known as FairFX), said: “If they can, holidaymakers might want to keep hold of their currency until their next trip and use it then.”
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