With the prospect of lockdowns rising, leading shares across Europe have plummeted – primarily in airlines, travel firms, hotel groups and pubs.
In London, the benchmark FTSE 100 share index was down more than 3%, while the FTSE 250 index, seen as a better reflection of the health of the UK economy, was down 4% by lunchtime.
Similar falls were seen on markets in Paris, Frankfurt and Madrid.
People are more affected by stock market falls than they may think. In the UK there are millions of people with pensions – either private or through work – whose savings are invested by pension schemes.
This means the value of their savings pot is influenced by the performance of these investments – although pension investors stress these are long-term investments and are designed to ride out bouts of weakness.