Weekly Client Update – Friday 18th June

Local update

Further delays to Jersey’s reconnection roadmap were announced by Ministers yesterday afternoon. As a result of a rising number of the Delta virus cases it was announced that the opening of nightclubs, which were scheduled to reopen from Monday 21 June, will now be delayed until Monday 5 July at the earliest; restrictions on informal gatherings in homes, and standing service in pubs and bars, also remain in place for at least another fortnight. With concern about high infection rates in the UK, notably England and Scotland, and a rise in the island’s data to more than 50 cases, many of the measures announced focus on travel.

Several more areas of England will turn red from 22 June as a result of Jersey’s emergency brake measures for worst hit areas, while from 29 June the whole of both England and Scotland will take on red status, while Wales and Northern Island are set to remain Green. Red arrivals who are fully vaccinated, which will include an estimated 60% of English adults and currently 60% of Islanders will have to isolate on arrival until they receive a negative result from their test on arrival. Adults who are not fully-vaccinated will face 10 days’ mandatory isolation and need to receive negative results from tests on days zero, five and ten. There is also a significant change regarding children; arriving passengers who are under 18 will, from 22 June, be treated as green, regardless of their travel history.

From Tuesday, passengers arriving in Jersey from a red zone will only need to isolate until they have received a negative result from their arrival test if they have been fully vaccinated within the Common Travel Area of the UK, Republic of Ireland, Jersey, Guernsey or the Isle of man, however anyone arriving from a red zone will need to isolate until they have received a negative result from their day-ten test if they were vaccinated in another country. Some Islanders who have spent time abroad and received one of their vaccinations outside of the CTA have urged the Government to rethink its policy to allow fully vaccinated travellers to have the same rights as those who have received their jabs within the CTA. A Government spokesman said ‘Until an internationally-recognised Covid Status Certificate is available, at this stage we are not in a position to approve vaccination evidence from countries outside the Common Travel Area (CTA) therefore arriving passengers will need to isolate in line with the current requirements.

As of today there are 55 known cases of Covid-19 and 886 islanders currently in isolation and are known to be direct contacts of active cases.

In other news 1,200 lucky islanders who were successful in obtaining free tickets (fully allocated in 2 minutes) will be able to watch the first of two British & Irish Lions rugby squad live training sessions at St Peter later today. The Lions are in Jersey for a 2 week training camp ahead of their summer tour of South Africa which will include 3 test matches against the current world champions ‘South Africa.’

In other sports, the European Football Championships will see England play Scotland at Wembley this evening in the qualifying stages of the tournament, in what is anticipated to be a mighty clash of 2 of the biggest home nation teams. The Tournament concludes with the Final scheduled to be played at Wembley on Sunday 11 July.

And finally Brittany ferries announced plans for a ‘Flying ferry’ capable of travelling up to 180 miles per hour that could be introduced in the Channel within the next four years. The Company, which last year bought a share in Condor, has signed a letter of intent with ‘Regent’ a Boston based business which is developing the electrically powered ‘Sea glider’ technology. If brought to Jersey routes then at top speed the crossing to St Malo could be completed in as little as 12 minutes. Let’s hope that the French will be happy to receive us by then.

Mixed Markets

Wall Street was a mixed bag yesterday as gains from technology names faced off with sharp losses among energy, financials, and materials stocks. Bank stocks were not looking good, as they dropped by more than 4% on aggregate. The S&P 500’s energy and financial sectors fell 3.5% and 2.9% respectively, with Occidental Petroleum experiencing the greatest loss at -7.6%. The Dow Jones 30 fell 0.6%, and NASDAQ100 was 1.3% higher. Regardless, the SPX500 continues to lead the pack of the major stock indices, at +2.4%.

Thanks to poor mining stocks, The FTSE 100 was down 0.4% yesterday. Giants like Glencore, Anglo American, Fresnillo and multiple other miners were down by more than 3%. Glencore has now fallen more than 7% since Friday. BT Group was at the front of the FTSE 100 yesterday, adding 2.7% to continue its recent run of good form. The company’s share price is up by more than 60% since the start of February.

The crypto market remained lower over the past 24 hours. Bitcoin was down around 3%, falling just below $38,000.

Oil prices slumped yesterday, briefly falling below the recently reached milestone of $70. However, prices later recovered, climbing above the mark, but still closed lower for the day. This morning, the negative momentum continued, as the black gold was in the red at time of writing.

Europe opened slightly lower, due to the FTSE 100 that opened 6 points lower, as well as the GER DAX 30 being down 7 points and the FRA CAC 40 opening 1 point lower.

UK COVID cases rise

With 9,055 new daily COVID cases and another 9 COVID-related deaths, the UK is experiencing the highest daily total since February this year. Although, yesterday the government announced that they have reached a key milestone of more than 30 millions adults receiving both their vaccines.

Double jabs means no quarantine

The more people who received both their vaccines, the better for the travel industry as these people should be able to travel overseas soon without having to quarantine – as per the new travel rules. The government is currently drawing up changes to the traffic light system for international travel in the hope to save summer holidays.

Although Britons who have received double jabs will still need to be tested, it effectively means that amber countries will become green for the fully vaccinated, opening up quarantine-free travel to most holiday destinations in Europe and the US.

UK inflation poses a big risk

The Treasury minister has warned that after jumping to 2,1% – overshooting the Bank of England target – UK inflation could become a serious risk to Britain. As industries reopen from lockdown, prices in clothing fuel and meals will increase faster than economists have expected.

Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Jesse Norman, said temporary rising inflation is being driven by firms and sectors hiking prices as they look to recover from repeated lockdowns over the past year.

Challenge for older workers

Post-pandemic life is also proving to be increasingly challenging for older workers who will soon be searching for new jobs, once the furlough scheme ends. Due to their lack of experience in job-hunting and being out of the game for over a year, as well as being less likely to change careers, workers in their 50s and 60s are really going to be affected.

Laurence O’Brien, of the IFS, said: “These transitions may become more important as the economy adjusts after the pandemic. It will therefore be important for the Government to appropriately support older jobseekers back into the labour market going forwards.”

Emily Andrews, of the Centre for Ageing Better, which funded the research said: “The picture is currently very worrying for older workers furloughed or made redundant during the pandemic.

Removal companies are overwhelmed

Removal companies are however benefitting at the moment, bracing for their busiest week ever, as home buyers rush to get their purchases finalised before the tax break ends.

Packing and property removal companies, like Pickfords have reportedly been overwhelmed by the demand, having never had as many bookings, which has forced them in many cases to turn customers away.

Arbitration for tenants and landlords

On the other hand, many tenants have accumulated approximately £7bn in rent arrears since the pandemic started. However, the government is considering legislation to force landlords and tenants to seek arbitration, in an attempt to avoid landlords from taking tenants to court.

The Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Steve Barclay, is due to outline proposals to solve rental disputes on both commercial and residential properties to MPs in the House of Commons as part of a statement on the Government’s economic strategy during the extended lockdown until at least 19 July.