With COVID-19 cases spiralling out of control across the UK, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a new national lockdown late Monday – overriding the previous tier-based local lockdown system – and its impact has already been felt by the insurance industry.
Lloyd’s of London has taken the decision to close its underwriting floor because of the lockdown, as reported by Reuters. The move is in contrast to its action during the last national lockdown in November – which saw it keep the underwriting floor open for one day a week, on Wednesdays. However, it is in keeping with its action during the initial national lockdown in March last year – when the underwriting room was ultimately closed for close to six months.
In a statement issued on Tuesday evening, Johnson claimed that the UK had already vaccinated 1.3 million of its population and set out a goal to ramp up that vaccination effort – with the target bring to reach the over 80s, NHS and care staff, the over 70s and the clinically extremely vulnerable by mid-February.
At that point, Johnson is set to review the national lockdown again, depending on the success of the vaccination programme.
Meanwhile, Lloyd’s of London has stated that it is unlikely to reopen the floor before mid-February.