Pound sterling recovered ground against the US dollar this morning to be back into positive territory this afternoon at $1.41 despite persistent doubts that England will proceed with its next stage of reopening on 21 June.
Sterling dipped this morning, but was up 0.1 per cent by lunchtime.
Sterling has been among the top-performing G10 currencies this year as the UK’s rapid deployment of vaccines spurred expectations of a fast reopening of the economy.
Those hopes have faded somewhat in recent weeks however, as rising cases of the Delta variant of Covid-19 first detected in India have led to calls from some scientists to push back the reopening date.
The Prime Minister’s spokesperson today reiterated that ” there is nothing in the data currently to suggest Step 4 can’t go ahead at the earliest date.
“But we do need to look very closely at the data over this coming week, which will be crucial to decide and really to get a sense of the data, particularly on hospitalisations and whether or not the excellent vaccine rollout programme has sufficiently severed that link between the increase in cases, which we always expected to happen, particularly after Step 3, and that subsequently leading to hospitalisations and deaths.”
Some scientists on advisory panels Sage and Nervtag have advocated for a delay to the final stage of reopening, which includes large indoor gatherings and the end of social distancing.