Expect swift and radical precautionary measures in the weeks ahead, because the travel industry can't afford another lost winter.
UK’s blue-chip index hit more than one-month lows on Friday, with commodity, travel, and banking stocks slumping after a newly detected and possibly vaccine-resistant coronavirus variant sapped risk appetite among global investors.
The FTSE 100 index declined 3.3 percent by 0817 GMT — on course for its biggest one-day fall in over a year.
Tourism group TUI fell 9.9 percent, while airline companies like Wizz Air, Easyjet and British Airways owner IAG lost 16 percent to 20.9 percent after UK authorities imposed travel restrictions from South Africa and five neighbouring countries.
Britain said that the newly identified variant spreading in South Africa was considered by scientists to be the most significant one found yet and so it needed to ascertain whether or not it made vaccines ineffective.
Energy and mining stocks fell 6.6 percent and 4.5 percent, respectively, tracking a slump in commodity prices amid fresh economic slowdown fears.
The domestically focussed mid-cap index dropped 2.7 percent.
(Reporting by Bansari Mayur Kamdar in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)
Photo credit: The UK has already imposed travel restrictions from South Africa and five neighbouring countries. Jacques Nel / Unsplash