LONDON (Reuters) – Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the lockdown on Monday night saying the highly contagious variant of the novel coronavirus that was first identified in Britain is spreading so fast that it risks weighing on healthcare.
Britain on Tuesday announced 4.6 billion pounds ($ 6.2 billion) in new lockdown grants to support businesses and protect jobs.
Here’s a quote about the impact.
MINISTER OF FINANCE RISHI SUNAK:
“This new strain of virus presents all of us with a big challenge – and while a vaccine is being rolled out, we need to tighten the restrictions further.
“Throughout the pandemic we have taken swift action to protect lives and livelihoods and today we are announcing a further cash injection to support businesses and jobs through the spring.
“This will help businesses get through the coming months – and most importantly will help keep jobs, so workers can be ready to return when they can reopen.”
UK PM BORIS JOHNSON:
“I want to say to everyone across Great Britain that I know how difficult this is, I know how frustrated you are, I know that you have more than enough government guidance on how to beat this virus. But now, more than ever, we must work together. “
JPMORGAN ANALYSIS ALLAN MONKS:
“The leave scheme is set to run until the end of April, and a further extension is likely as recovery dates have been pushed further. While the ever-increasing size of the fiscal deficit will put pressure on the BoE (Bank of England) to adjust for larger QE purchases – for example, a 50 billion pound increase would appear to be on average on this metric – in November the BoE indicated that they have done more than necessary (+ £ 150 billion) on a risk management basis.
“As those risks are now taking place, it is unclear if they want to do more directly: The BoE has laid out a buying program that is expected to occur by the end of this year, and has indicated that it will only increase its weekly buying pace if there is any sign. – a sign of a new disturbance in the market. “
ADAM MARSHALL, BRITISH CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE
“Although welcomed, the new lockdown provided support from Rishi Sunak and the Ministry of Finance in stages.
“Ministers need to put in place a clear package of support for the whole of 2021 – not just through Spring – to help businesses of all shapes and sizes survive this difficult and uncertain year.”
INSTITUTE OF BOARD OF DIRECTORS
“We are very pleased that the Ministry of Finance has accepted our recommendation to increase local government discretionary grants. This policy has helped reach those who are not yet able to access other support. The government must be ready to increase funds if necessary.
“Chancellors must remain vigilant against the edge of a springy cliff in business support as leave schemes and other support measures weaken. Businesses will also be interested in the government to continue working on its plans for vaccine launches, to support their planning.
“The path of the virus is very uncertain, and the Government must be agile in responding to prevent prolonged economic damage.”
Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; editing by Michael Holden and Kate Holton