Against the flow of many of its European neighbours who are reducing their measures, the United Kingdom will extend its lockdown until June 1st. Shops and schools will therefore be able to reopen on that date if the fight against the pandemic progresses.
It’s been nearly seven weeks since Boris Johnson asked the British people to stay home in order to help prevent the virus from spreading, while shutting down the economy.
And the end of the containment period has been postponed until June 1st, 2020 and the restrictions in effect will have to remain until at least that date.
Indeed, the United Kingdom, the world’ s second most bereaved country, has recorded more than 31,000 deaths.
“Now is not the time to end the lockdown,” said Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
However, the Prime Minister hopes to be able to gradually reopen schools and some shops at the beginning of June.
Then a month later, at the beginning of July, “if all the conditions are gathered“, the government expects to reopen at least part of the cafés and restaurants, as well as public places.
The government also wants to introduce mandatory quarantine for travellers arriving in the UK by plane.
“No quarantine measures will apply to travellers arriving from France at this stage” the French Presidency said, referring to a meeting between Emmanuel Macron and Boris Johnson.
The public is therefore encouraged to keep up its efforts, albeit with a few nuances.
While teleworking is recommended, people who cannot work from home are now encouraged to go to their workplace.
Nevertheless, public transport is still to be avoided, or with a distance of two meters between individuals.
An economy under threat
This crisis has significantly weakened the British economy, and the Bank of England is forecasting a historic recession this year as a result of the containment and total or partial shutdown of certain sectors of activity.
The monetary institution thus estimates a 30% drop in British GDP between January and June, and a 14% drop for the year 2020 as a whole.
However, the Bank of England is optimistic for the future and estimates that the economy will get back on its feet, forecasting a 15% jump in GDP for 2021.
Meanwhile, the employment figures remain worrying. Unemployment could reach 9% this year, a significant increase since it was at its lowest level before the pandemic: 3.9%.
Against this backdrop, the Bank of England intends to do as much as is necessary to support the economy and is maintaining its key rate at 0.1%.
In its report, it also considers that the British financial system has more than enough capital to absorb the losses generated by the pandemic.
Featured Photo : © Boris Johnson
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