The pound to euro exchange rate plummeted to a six-month low on Tuesday as coronavirus sweeps the globe. Following panic from several industries surrounding closures and job layoffs, the government last night unveiled its stimulus package which hopes to add some stability for the economy.
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Sterling is currently trading at a rate of 1.0975 against the euro at the time of writing. It shows a small boost since yesterday, likely owed to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s dedication to pump money back into areas of the economy which are floundering amid the spread of the deadly virus.
In a speech yesterday Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said that the government would be providing a £330billion bailout for businesses.
The plan includes scrapping business rates for a year and providing cash grants to shops, pubs and other high-street outlets hit by fewer customers.
Vowing to do “whatever it takes” to protect the economy, Sunak said: “We have never, in peacetime, faced an economic fight like this one.”
PM Johnson added: “This enemy can be deadly, but it is also beatable.”
The government will also be offering a three-month holiday on mortgage payments for those in need.
Gareth Shaw, Head of Money at Which?, said: “The measures announced by the chancellor, such as a three-month mortgage holiday scheme, are an important first step to helping millions of consumers who may face financial hardship during the coronavirus crisis.
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“The government must move swiftly to ensure those in need of assistance get clear information about how these schemes will work in practice – and that the process for doing so is straightforward, ensuring consumers can easily access the support they need in the challenging months ahead.”
Home Secretary Dominic Raab announced yesterday afternoon that the government would now be advising all Britons to avoid any unnecessary travel over the next 30 days.
In parliamentary updates at the House of Commons he said: “The FCO will always take into consideration the safety of British nationals so with immediate effect I’ve taken the decision to advise British Nationals against non-essential travel globally for a period of 30 days and of course subject to ongoing review.
“I should emphasise this decision is being taken based on the domestic measures being introduced into the UK alongside the border and a range of other restrictions which are being taken by countries right around the world.
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“The speed and the range of these measures across other countries is unprecedented some of those decisions are being made without notice.”
However, there may still be some who need to exchange travel money, and now are faced with concerns about whether they will lose out huge sums of money.
Although the Post Office has cancelled the sale of travel insurance, it continues to offer travel money exchanges.
It is currently offering €1.0577 for £400 or more, €1.0731 for £500 or more or €1.0785 for £1,000 or more.
Ian Strafford-Taylor, CEO of international travel money specialist Equals said: “The global pandemic of the coronavirus along with the government’s response and the market’s reaction has left the pound incredibly vulnerable.
“Combined with travel bans, country lockdowns and mass flight cancellations, holidaymakers are struggling to know which way to turn.
“People who have had to postpone their holiday or had their trip cancelled, could hold onto their travel money until they are able to rebook, or if it’s loaded onto a prepaid card, they could use it while on home soil.
“It’s a very uncertain time for the pound, so if you do need to change your travel money back into pounds, you should shop around to find the best buy-back rate.”
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