Whether local or national, further lockdowns will come with harmful economic consequences, not least for sectors of the economy reliant on customer footfall. This week’s big share price fallers reflect this, with travel and leisure particularly well represented in the list of pain. Many of them had bounced back from Covid-19-induced lows on the optimistic basis that the pandemic may prove short-lived. The painful reality that the virus lingers and a vaccine is, at best, months away is now biting.
Indeed, a further shutdown of hospitality and leisure venues will – alongside the investments they had made in ensuring they can be opened safely – only put further pressure on their squeezed cash flows. While this is likely to disproportionately affect smaller operators, even large companies are not immune – take Cineworld, for example, which last week closed its doors to cinema-goers as movie studios announced further delays to key releases.