Prince Charles and Camilla make rare visit to Bank of England amid second wave worries

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Prince Charles and Camilla headed to central London today for another face-to-face engagement. The couple met staff involved in producing bank notes and heard more about their day-to-day duties. 

Their visit focused on the role the Bank of England has played in supporting the national economy throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the midst of the crisis, the Bank announced a package of measures aiming to “help keep firms in business and people in jobs and help minimise the longer-term damage to the economy when COVID-19 subsides”.

Among the measures taken by Governor Andrew Bailey, the Bank has cut interest rate to 0,01 percent and supported businesses in paying their staff and suppliers. 

The Bank of England is also helping banks to expand lending by reducing the amount of financial resources they need to set against their lending to UK businesses and households. 

The UK is currently going through a second wave of infections, after the number of coronavirus cases fell sharply between July and August.

Earlier this month, Mr Bailey, who started in his new role as head of the Bank at the beginning of the pandemic in March, said the ‘Old Lady’ it’s in good shape to handle the “downside” risks faced by the economy this winter.

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During an online webinar, Mr Bailey said: “We are by no means out of firepower, not out of luck, in terms of our policy tools. 

“And we will use that firepower, as appropriate, promptly and strongly in response to segments in ways where we think it is necessary and appropriate to do so.

“There is an unprecedented level of uncertainty at the moment.

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“And the risks, I’m afraid – certainly as we see them – are very much on the downside.” 

Prince Charles and Camilla’s visit took place one day after the Duchess of Cornwall teamed up with Health Secretary Matt Hancock to highlight the progress one of her charities is making with dogs during the pandemic.

The pair were at Paddington Station in London were dogs from Medical Detection Dogs demonstrated to be able to pick out positive samples of COVID-19 using their sense of smell. 

Before showing off their skills to Camilla and Mr Hancock, Bob and Basil, as these dogs are called, had already passed six separate tests. 

These dogs can detect the smell of COVID-19 within 0.5 seconds on people who don’t show symptoms of the illness. 

The Department of Health is hoping to be able to deploy these animals in crowded areas such as stations and sporting venues as soon as early next year to immediately detect and isolate people with coronavirus.

Finland has already deployed dogs trained to detect coronavirus at its airport in Helsinki.

Camilla, who became patron of the charity in 2014, described these dogs as “simply remarkable, so impressive”.      



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