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Travel

Pound to euro exchange rate: GBP ‘gains ground’ despite the UK coronavirus lockdown

The pound is currently trading at a rate of 1.0940 against the euro, according to Bloomberg. The pound to euro exchange rate suffered a loss this week after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that the UK will be put on lockdown to halt the spread of the coronavirus.

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  • Pound to euro exchange rate: GBP at mercy of coronavirus

Mr Johnson told the public in an evening announcement that the nation is currently in the throws of a national emergency.

He urged people stay indoors in order to “save lives”.

Those residing in the UK have been warned that venturing outdoors is strictly prohibited unless it is to buy food, carry out “essential” work or for medical reasons.

One outdoor trip for exercise each day is also permitted.

However, large gatherings of more than two people have been banned unless it is to attend a funeral.

There are currently 423,724 cases of coronavirus worldwide, of which 8,077 are in the UK.

But despite the pound’s recent plummet, there was some positive news this morning as sterling saw a small increase against the euro.

Michael Brown, Currency Expert at Caxton FX spoke exclusively to Express.co.uk.

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He said: “Sterling gained ground against the euro on Tuesday, rallying above the 1.09 handle, as risk appetite improved with traders continuing to digest Monday’s Fed policy package and paying close attention to whether the US Congress would agree on a fiscal stimulus bill.

“Today, this morning’s UK inflation data is set to be ignored, with all eyes remaining on the progress of the coronavirus pandemic and its economic implications.”

The Post Office is currently offering €1.12 per sterling pound.

The pound has seen a welcome boost as global markets have surged higher in the past 24 hours thanks to an increase in positive investor sentiment.

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  • Pound to euro exchange rate: Coronavirus sees GBP plummet

However, the pound has also had its lowest level against the dollar for 35 years due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The recent drop began when the Bank of England slashed the base interest rate to 0.25 percent this month.

Managing Director of WeSwap, Matt Crate commented on the fall: “There are lots of factors at play at the moment and it is near impossible to predict exactly how COVID-19 and upcoming knock-on events will impact our everyday lives and the pound versus other currencies.

“Many may be looking ahead to summer and winter holidays to see if they can travel and if so, how much it will cost them.

“In light of this uncertainty, it is always best to exchange money as early as possible.

“Using tools such as WeSwap’s Smart Swap is a way to lock in a price and allow your foreign currency to be bought at a better time for the pound.

“It is impossible to tell what will happen over the course of the coming months, but forward planning, taking out the relevant insurance, and preparing for a worst-case scenario is the best course of action given the unique situation we all find ourselves in.”

Currently, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is advising Britons to avoid “all nonessential travel for the next 30 days.”

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Travel

Flybe flights: What happens if Flybe collapses? Is Flybe ATOL protected?

Flybe, the Exeter-based airline, mainly served domestic routes in the UK but did carry eight million passengers a year to 56 airports on more than 210 routes across 15 countries. Last year, the airline ran into difficulties and was bought out by British consortium Connect Airways who put in £30m to keep the business afloat.

What happens if Flybe collapses? Is Flybe ATOL protected?

On March 5, Flybe stopped operations of its 60 planes and filed for administration.

The airline had appealed for a £100m loan to the UK government, which was rejected.

This, coupled with the COVID-19 outbreak, accelerated Flybe’s collapse.

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  • Flybe passenger left stranded as ‘holiday of lifetime’ in ruins

Alana Gomez, spokeswoman for flight-comparison site www.jetcost.co.uk, said: “Coronavirus will likely become the scapegoat for Flybe’s collapse, but it would be obtuse and even dangerous to blame it wholly for the situation.

“The airline has been struggling for some time now and would likely have still gone under without the assistance of the virus.

“Despite its somewhat inevitability, the news about Flybe is deeply upsetting, not only for the travel industry as a whole, but for the 2,000 members of staff and local communities that will be hit the hardest.

“As one of the UK’s biggest regional airlines, a number of airports – such as Southampton and Anglesey – rely heavily on Flybe, and unless an alternative is sought, they could be in trouble themselves.”

The Air Travel Organisers’ Licensing scheme (ATOL) was created in 1973 to stop passengers from losing out financially if their travel company ceases trading.

The scheme requires ATOL holders pay a fee for each traveller, which is held in a fund managed by the Air Travel Trust.

The money is used to refund, repatriate or reimburse travellers for the cost of repaying for the affected parts of their trip.

ATOL protects most trips booked as a package, such as flights and accommodation, or flights and car hire, and also applies to some flight-only bookings, particularly when the tickets are not received immediately.

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Flights bought directly from Flybe are not ATOL protected but some holidaymakers might get their money back if they paid by credit card or with some debit cards.

Travellers who bought their holiday via a separate travel agent may be covered.

Ms Gomez said: “Unfortunately, passengers are unlikely to be refunded by the airline itself, but those that have booked with credit or debit card should contact their provider, where they may be able to seek compensation, or travel insurance company if they have one.

“Our thoughts are with the employees of Flybe and our regional airports who, without additional support, could suffer the same fate as the airline.”

A Flybe statement posted on the airline’s Twitter page said: “Flybe entered administration on March 5, 2020, and Alan Hudson, Joanne Robinson, Lucy Winterborne and Simon Edel of EY have been appointed as Joint Administrators.

“All flights have been grounded and the UK business has ceased trading with immediate effect.

“If you are due to fly with Flybe, please DO NOT TRAVEL TO THE AIRPORT unless you have arranged an alternative flight with another airline.

“Please note that Flybe is unfortunately not able to arrange alternative flights for passengers.”

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