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Amid a slew of coronavirus (COVID-19) infection in the UK, the Brexit Chief David Frost also isolates himself, as per the Bloomberg, after showing symptoms of coronavirus, a British official said. Earlier, the news of his EU counterpart Michel Barnier having signs of COVID-19 crossed wires.

Key quotes

It comes after Michel Barnier, Frost’s EU counterpart, announced on Twitter earlier on Thursday that he had tested positive for the disease. The two men had not had contact since the first round of talks in Brussels two weeks ago.

But the news is likely to crush any hopes that the negotiations over the two sides’ future trade relationship can make any substantial progress while the global pandemic continues. This week’s round of talks, scheduled for London, had already been put on hold.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has dismissed calls to seek an extension to the negotiating period that Britain entered after leaving the bloc on Jan. 31. If the two sides can’t reach a deal on their future partnership by the end of this year, the U.K. would have to trade with the EU with tariffs and quotas.

FX implications

This adds weakness to the GBP/USD pair that recently flashed the fresh low since 1985 of 1.1411, currently near 1.1430, by the press time of early Asian morning on Friday.