New York Stock Exchange trading floor set for reopening

The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is set to reopen its trading floor on Tuesday after a two-month closure due to the coronavirus pandemic, news wires reported. But the exchange is likely to look very different as new rules come into effect, despite the fact that the NYSE is one of the few bourses to still feature floor trade as most others have shifted to fully-electronic trading.

NYSE president Stacey Cunningham tweeted that reopening was an important step towards restarting the US economy after lockdowns across the country. "For the trading floor community it supports their small businesses, which have been challenged by the temporary floor closure. And for our economy, reopening our trading floors offers a path to reopening that other businesses in densely populated areas may choose to follow," he pointed out.

Under the new measures only a quarter of the normal number of traders will be allowed to return to work. Traders must also avoid public transport, wear masks and follow strict social distancing rules, with newly fitted transparent barriers to keep people apart. They will also be screened and have their temperatures taken as they enter the building.

Anyone who fails pass the check will be barred until they test negative for Covid-19 or self-quarantine in accordance with US government guidelines. To return to their jobs, floor traders will also reportedly have to sign a liability waiver that prevents them from suing the NYSE if they get infected at the exchange.

According to the Wall Street Journal, traders will have to acknowledge that returning to the trading floor could result in them "contracting Covid-19, respiratory failure, death, and transmitting Covid-19 to family or household members and others who may also suffer these effects". The new regulations also mean that the NYSE's high-profile opening bell events and stock market debut celebrations have been put on hold as visitors are banned.

The exchange's trading floor was closed from 23 March and temporarily moved to fully-electronic trading.

More on this subject: Coronavirus

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