The AUD GBP exchange rate is looking to build on recent gains driven by hopes of a reopening for the Melbourne economy in late-October. Melbourne now has grabbed an unwanted world record for the longest lockdown. Scientists are warning of higher virus rates in the UK over the winter.
The AUD to GBP exchange rate is now trading at 0.5360 and there is little economic data in the week ahead to drive the pair.
Melbourne holds lockdown record but looks to reopening
Melbourne has grabbed the record for the world’s-longest lockdown and premier Daniel Andrews said he was proud of the sacrifices Melburnians have made over the pandemic.
Yesterday he called on the state to make one final push before the lockdown ends in the coming weeks.
“We are going to get past this. We are going to end this lockdown and open up, and all that we will enjoy then will be a result of all that we have given.”
Epidemiologist Tony Blakely, who was a long-time supporter of the elimination strategy, said the lockdowns saved lives but Victoria had been unfortunate to have so many.
“If we let it rip last year, we would have had severe mortality and morbidity. It’s just that we haven’t had the same luck as other places.”
The state of Victoria is forecast to hit 70% vaccination coverage on 26th October, triggering the end of the latest lockdown under the state’s roadmap before restrictions are eased further at 80%.
Andrews is also hopeful the reduction of the second dose Pfizer interval in state-run clinics from Monday will speed up those targets. The Australian dollar will look to build on recent gains with the path to reopening.
Scientists warning of higher UK virus rates in winter
Scientists in the UK have warned that the country may still have worse to come during the pandemic, as the winter weather approaches. Scientists now fear that more people will begin socialising inside as the weather gets colder, which increases the chance of transmitting the virus, with many workers also returning to their offices.
Britain is heading into winter season with the number of coronavirus cases said to be Covid cases remaining at a worryingly high level. At the same time, the country’s vaccination programme appears to have stalled.
Professor Mark Woolhouse of Edinburgh University said: “We need to finish the job and give the maximum number of jabs. Unfortunately, our vaccination programme has stalled and rates are regularly dropping below 100,000 doses a day. I fear we are now storing up trouble for the future.”
That point was echoed by Professor Martin Hibberd, of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. “In winter, cases of respiratory disease go up and we need to have as many vaccinations as possible to keep that increase from becoming a real problem. However, there has been no sign of vaccination programmes beginning at schools and that is surely a missed opportunity.”
The AUD v GBP will likely move on news headlines this week with little economic data due out.