The pound to euro exchange rate suffered a blow this morning after a week of growth in the previous week. Sterling has experienced a series of highs and lows in the past month as the coronavirus pandemic has gained speed, however with the UK’s death toll now climbing ever higher, the GBP has hit another slump.
The pound is currently trading at a rate of 1.1476 against the euro according to Bloomberg at the time of writing.
Meanwhile, the euro has clawed back some strength, despite EU leaders still butting heads about the best way to cope with the virus.
He said: “Sterling lost ground against the common currency on Friday, dipping below the €1.14 handle, as the euro found solid support despite yet another failure for EU leaders to agree on a common response to the coronavirus.
Pound to euro exchange rate: The pound has slumped against the euro over the weekend (Image: DX)
Pound to euro exchange rate: The pound is currently trading at a rate of 1.1476 (Image: Bloomberg)
“This week, all eyes will remain on the pandemic, particularly the progress of the infection as lockdown measures begin to be lifted.”
After weeks of stringent lockdown, some countries across the EU have already announced a tentative easing of restrictions.
France, Italy, and Spain, three of the countries with the highest number of confirmed cases, are amongst those hoping to relax the current rules in place to try to restart the economy and allow an initial resumption of normal life.
Italy, which has so far seen 197,675 confirmed cases and 26,644 deaths, is set to ease restrictions.
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The Italian Prime Minister told local newspaper La Repubblica that manufacturing could be restarted as early as May 4, but that schools will remain closed until September.
In Spain, residents are now being allowed out of their homes for walks and exercise. Children are also being granted one hour of exercise a day, so long as they are being supervised, between 9 am and 9 pm.
The country’s officials have also suggested ways to reopen beaches, with social distancing measures in place, and is identifying ways to kick-start tourism in the country – though it will be prioritising domestic tourism initially.
Spanish authorities have outlined a three-step recovery plan to help boost the economy in certain regions that rely heavily on tourism.
Pound to euro exchange rate: In Spain people are beginning to enjoy the eases restrictions (Image: Getty Images)
A graduated process is being introduced to the Canary Islands, which would first open beaches to locals, and later to people from mainland Spain.
There is a suggestion that foreign visitors, including Britons, will not be allowed to visit until the autumn months.
At the time of writing Spain has more than 226,000 confirmed cases and has recorded 23,190 fatalities as a result.
In France, the government is working to prioritise its exit strategy.
The reopening of schools, restarting public transport and ensuring there is a large enough supply of masks and hand sanitised have been highlighted.
France has seen more than 162,000 confirmed cases and 22,856 fatalities due to coronavirus.
In the UK the government has remained tight-lipped on an exit strategy, with ministers warning Britons that lockdown will not be ending any time soon.
Contrastingly, Nordic countries have eased restrictions already, allowing for small gatherings and outdoor activities.
In Sweden, officials enforced less stringent lockdown restrictions, leaving large parts of society operating as normal, in a bid to maintain social distancing for a longer period of time.
Pound to euro exchange rate: Map of European currencies (Image: DX)
For travellers, the future of holidays remains uncertain, with airlines, tour operators, and cruise providers all extending cancellations and suspensions.
Those hoping to change back their travel money are now faced with fewer options, as many Bureau de Changes remain shut.
The Post Office halted its travel money operations some weeks ago, though customers who purchased a travel money card are able to switch their currency back to GBP and use the card in the UK as they would a normal debit or credit card.
Ian Strafford-Taylor, CEO of Equals (formerly known as FairFX), advised customers to hold off on exchanging travel money for now.
“If they can, holidaymakers might want to keep hold of their currency until their next trip and use it then,” he said.
“For those using prepaid currency cards, they can spend their money back in the UK online or in stores, keep it for their next trip, or change it to a different currency altogether.”