“Following the historic collapse in spring 2020, the U.K. remains on track to return to its pre-pandemic level by the turn of the year,” said Holger Schmieding, chief economist at Berenberg Bank. “Judging by recent data trends, that could happen even sooner.”
Though most sectors of the economy have reopened, there are concerns that the next planned easing for England, scheduled for later this month, may have to be delayed because of a recent spike in new infections largely due to the delta variant that was first identified in India.
The hope is that the rapid rollout of vaccines will dramatically break the link between new infections, hospitalizations and deaths. So far, the evidence suggests that a large proportion of the people being infected are in younger age groups, many of which have yet to receive a first dose.
Under the government's plan for ending lockdown measures, social distancing restrictions are set to be lifted on June 21, which would be a particular boon to businesses such as pubs and cinemas. They are currently operating with capacity limits to meet the need to keep people apart.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson plans to announce Monday whether the next easing will take place.
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