The British pound rose on Monday as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced plans to fully reopen the economy later this month, despite a jump in COVID-19 infections.
After falling to its lowest level since mid-April at $1.3733 last week, the pound was 0.05% higher against the dollar at $1.3843 by 1455 GMT. Versus the euro, it rose 0.1% to 85.70 pence.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will set out plans for the final step of easing COVID-19 lockdown in England at 1600 GMT, including guidance on social distancing, face coverings and working from home.
Data suggests that cases will continue to rise as restrictions are eased, the government said, but the link to hospitalisations and deaths has been weakened by the vaccination program.
The final step of lockdown easing was delayed by four weeks last month to enable more people to be vaccinated as the now-dominant Delta variant of the coronavirus drives a rise in COVID-19 cases.
“The pound has strengthened a little today, albeit within familiar levels. The UK government could announce today that almost all restrictions will be lifted on July 19, which could put GBP bulls in a better mood this week,” said Jane Foley Head of FX Strategy at Rabobank.
Last week, sterling took a hit after Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey warned against an over-reaction to rising inflation in Britain, saying it was important to ensure that the recovery was not undermined by a premature tightening in monetary conditions, as a rise in inflation was likely to be temporary.