09:47AM, Friday 29 May 2020
Throughout this pandemic I have always tried to retain realistic yet positive outlook, and to share that with constituents, colleagues, friends, and family as best I can. Even now as the pandemic and restrictions extend into June I still believe there is still much to remain positive about.
Next month will see some lockdown restrictions lifted as we move to the next stage of our exit strategy. I know it seems as if the lockdown will drag on and consume the entirety of our summer, so the easing to come should come as a source of relief for many. From the middle of next month non-essential shops will reopen, and there are discussions of allowing outdoor restaurants, cafes, and beer gardens to be able to reopen also. It is also encouraging that discussions are now underway to enable small private outdoor gatherings from the end of next month, such as BBQs and picnics.
The government has always maintained that the lockdown would only remain in place when it is absolutely necessary. It is therefore right that as we continue to defeat this virus, we take steps to ease these restrictions as we slowly but surely return to normality.
We can also look forward to the reopening of schools next month for the key years of primary education. Provided the risks are minimized it is really important that our children’s cognitive development and education aren’t undermined. Children from disadvantaged backgrounds are particularly vulnerable to suffering irreparable setbacks in their education which could put them at a significant disadvantage later on in life when sitting exams and applying for jobs and university places.
Clearly, we all have concerns and mixed- feelings about the pace at which lockdown is lifted because we want to be prepared at each stage. Thankfully, with the coronavirus in retreat and our understanding of the virus much enhanced, we are in a much stronger place than we were 3 months ago. We now have a world-beating track and trace system in place and the number of new cases should see a gentle and consistent decline in the coming weeks and months, all being well.
If we continue on our current course, we will still be able to enjoy plenty of the glorious British Summer with our families, friends, and loved ones. So thank you, and keep up the good work.
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