The GBPEUR exchange rate rallied 0.52% on Wednesday to reverse five-straight days of losses for sterling. The pound has seen some buyers emerge as the seven-day average for virus cases flattens out, but there were warnings that the UK could see the return to restrictions in three weeks.
The GBP to EUR now trades at 1.1625 and tomorrow will see the latest European Central Bank interest rate meeting.
UK could lose 40,000 care home staff over mandatory jabs
Around 40,000 care home staff could be lost if the UK follows France with mandatory jabs for health workers, according to the Government’s own “best” estimate.
The number represents a large 7% of the profession’s 570,000-strong workforce and is the “midpoint” between the upper and lower estimates of 70,000 (12%) and 17,000 (3%) jobs lost respectively.
From this autumn, anyone working in a Care Quality Commission-registered care home in England must have two doses of a coronavirus vaccine unless they have a medical exemption. The move has already been approved by MPs despite a Tory revolt.
The Government risks losing another fight over its plans to force venues such as nightclubs to use Covid passports as Labour has said it would not back the scheme. Labour said the scheme is “costly, open to fraud and is impractical”, and also added that simply having two doses of a vaccine does not protect fully, with 60% of new hospital admissions seen having two doses.
At least 42 Conservative MPs have already signed the petition launched by privacy rights group Big Brother Watch against the passport plan.
For the GBP to EUR exchange rate, these types of measures bring political risk as the government seems to be ramping up its desire for control and that could bring drama.
EU rejects NI plan, England risks lockdown
The EU has rejected the UK government’s proposals to change the controversial Northern Ireland Protocol.
European Commission vice-president Maros Sefcovic said the bloc would “continue to engage” with the UK but said that new solutions had to be within the framework of the existing agreement. The wrangling over the NI protocol keeps Brexit risk on the table as tearing up the agreement could nullify the deal.
The UK’s Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty has warned that England could be back in lockdown in five weeks as cases surge during the third wave. The latest figures have seen over 44,000 cases reported in the country.
Hospitalisations are doubling almost every three weeks and could hit “quite scary numbers,” according to Whitty. The country’s ‘freedom’ could be shortlived and this has hit the pound this week after the currency failed to capitalize on moves above the 1.17 level in recent weeks.
The GBP versus the EUR rate will see resistance at the same 1.17 level and tomorrow’s ECB interest rate meeting will be followed by UK retail sales on Friday.