Pound euro exchange rate boost as UK starts ‘unlocking’ while Europe battles ‘third wave’

Holidays: Travel expert discusses proposed ‘traffic light system’

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Despite an uncertain year with the pandemic, it seems sterling is back on track with it reaching above the 1.18 handle on Easter Monday. At the time of writing, it remains slightly lower, what does this mean for travel money?

With Easter weekend over and European traders prepare to return, sterling is just above the 1.18 mark.

At the time of writing, the pound stands at 1.1773 against the euro, according to Bloomberg.

Michael Brown, currency expert at Carton FX, said: “Sterling briefly traded above the €1.18 handle on Easter Monday, though remains marginally south of this level this morning, as European traders prepare to return. 

“The move comes amid favourable UK tailwinds with the ‘unlocking’ roadmap set to continue as planned, and as the eurozone continues to grapple with a third wave of infections.”

Mr Brown added: “Today’s data docket contains nothing of interest.”

This is higher than last week where on Thursday it was trading just below at 1.1741.

Speaking then, Mr Brown explained that the successful vaccination rollout had an impact on the rate.

He said: “Sterling consolidated recent gains north of €1.17 yesterday, continuing to benefit from tailwinds including favourable month-end flows, and the UK’s strong vaccination drive; in contrast to Europe, which is going backwards, with France re-entering lockdown.

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“Today’s docket is fairly light, with the final manufacturing PMI surveys likely to be safely ignored by most.”

So what does this mean for your travel money?

Currently, foreign travel is off the cards for Britons as the UK remains in its third lockdown, with the easing of restrictions every couple of weeks.

The ban on international travel is set to be lifted on May 17.

The Prime Minister said yesterday: “We set out our roadmap and we’re sticking to it. We want to stress we see nothing in the present data which shows we need to deviate from that.”

However, he did explain that he couldn’t rule out the ban on travel.

Boris Johnson said: “We are hopeful we can get going from May 17 but I do not wish to give hostages to fortune or to underestimate the difficulties we are seeing in some of the countries people are wanting to go to.”

The Post Office Travel Money is currently offering a rate of 1.1336 for amounts of £400 or more, or 1.1501 for amounts of £500 or more.

However, despite this, one travel money expert warned Britons last week not to change their currency before May 17, when restrictions are lifted on travel.

James Andres, senior personal finance editor at Money.co.uk previously told Express.co.uk: “Although countries have said they will be opening their doors to UK visitors, consumers must be cautious before exchanging money at this stage.

“International travel is currently prohibited by law until May 17 earliest.

“Until the government has confirmed that you will be allowed to travel, consider if you need to exchange travel money right now.”

Once travel does kickstart, is it thought that countries will be divided into a traffic light system.

Countries which will be green are likely to be those with a low number of coronavirus vases like Gibraltar, who has vaccinated its entire population.

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