Second national lockdown proposed by UK scientific advisers – FT

Early Friday morning in Asia, the Financial Times (FT) came out with the news that a group of scientists advising the UK government have proposed a two-week national lockdown in October while citing the recent run-up in the coronavirus (COVID-19) numbers.

Key quotes

Experts on the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) and the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling (Spi-m) have suggested a national lockdown that could coincide with the October school half-term.

The move highlights how Boris Johnson might come under increasing pressure to introduce a second national lockdown, even though he has said he is strongly against such a measure.

The government is keen to avoid the reclosure of schools, having shut them during the national lockdown in March and only fully reopening them this autumn. That helps to explain why the government’s scientific advisers have looked at how a two-week national lockdown might coincide with the October half- term as part of efforts to bring Covid-19 under control.

As schools will be closed for one week at half-term, adding an extra week to that will have a limited impact on education.

Market implications

With the recently rising COVID-19 cases in the UK, above 4,000 latest, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson may step back from his earlier reluctance from a national lockdown. The odds for the same also take clues from the scientific trick to avail one-week holidays while targeting a fortnight restriction period. Though GBP/USD is yet to respond to the news, currently around 1.2973, sellers remain hopeful of further downside if the government sources give any more details.

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