Coronavirus  

FTSE creeps up as PM moves to ease lockdown further

FTSE creeps up as PM moves to ease lockdown further
 Boris Johnson, prime minister of the UK, addressing MPs in the House of Commons

The UK’s blue chip index has crept up today (June 23) as prime minister Boris Johnson announced a relaxation of some of the rules put in place to curb the coronavirus pandemic.

The FTSE 100 climbed to 1.5 per cent above this morning’s opening price shortly after Mr Johnson’s speech in parliament, but has since settled to sit at 6,325 points — 1.3 per cent up since markets opened.

Mr Johnson’s changes have also prompted the FTSE 250 to crawl skywards, rising 0.9 per cent over the course of the day.

UK markets have been gradually creeping up over the past few days on hopes of lockdown ease. The blue chip index is up 1.8 per cent since Thursday last week (June 18) while the FTSE 250 has crawled up 1.5 per cent in the same time period.

Speaking in the House of Commons this afternoon, Mr Johnson told MPs that from July 4 pubs, restaurants and hairdressers would be able to reopen, providing they adhere to Covid-19 secure guidelines.

From the same date, two households are allowed to meet up in any setting with social distancing measures and people are allowed to “enjoy staycations” in England as accommodation sites reopen.

Some leisure facilities and tourist attractions have also been given the green light from July 4. Cinemas, museums, galleries and worship places are allowed to open if they can do so safely.

Although the public should stay two metres apart where possible, the controversial “two metre” rule has been scrapped in favour of “one metre plus”. 

“Close proximity” venues such as nightclubs, soft-play areas, indoor gyms, swimming pools and spas will remain closed for now, as will bowling alleys and water parks.

Mr Johnson added: “There will be flare-ups for which local measures will be needed, and we will not hesitate to apply the brake and re-introduce restrictions even at national level if required.”

imogen.tew@ft.com

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