July 19 is opening time

It is time to reopen. We can accept that the government rightly wants to exercise caution – given that we have needed to return to lockdown on previous reopening attempts. However, next month should be very different from those early and premature attempts to return to normaility, which we can clearly see with the benefit of hindsight.

Several key areas of Covid restrictions are set to be removed and we continue to have ever increasing good news about the effects of our excellent vaccine rollout. It seems clear that the link between Covid numbers, hospitalisations and deaths has finally been broken. Previously, when cases rose so too did deaths, but now that a significant proportion of the population has been vaccinated, this no longer appears to be the case.

The worst is firmly behind us. This is so much so that it has been reported that Professor Chris Whitty has officially supported the country being reopened on July 19th. We should all be paying tribute to the CMO for the tireless work that he has put in on protecting the country from the worst of the pandemic and condemning those imbeciles that have been harassing him at work, at home and in the streets. It is inexcusable for people to be targeting him for abuse.

As the link has been broken, it is only right that the government has been considering proposals on lifting some of the other necessary but onerous restrictions come the new Freedom Day on July 19th.  This includes the possibility that those who have been double jabbed will no longer have to isolate on their return from abroad. This might be alongside the end of many of the current restrictions, such as people being allowed to gather indoors and the end of social distancing.

I am very hopeful for the end of Covid restrictions. The country and businesses have suffered for a long time in the name of public health and it makes no sense for this to continue now that the data are so clear on the great diminishment in the risks of Covid to the population due to our vaccine rollout.

Many of our businesses, especially local businesses, have struggled during the pandemic even with the government making the right decision to offer financial support. It will now be our time to do our part to support the innovators and entrepreneurs of the country by taking advantage our returned freedoms and spending as much as is prudently possible to get the economy rolling again. We must also take the opportunity to reconnect with our friends and families. While many of us have tried to adapt with Zoom calls and outdoor social distanced small groups, it is not the same. We know that the lockdown has had a terrible effect on mental health and so the best thing that we can do is meet and talk to each other. This applies to everyone, young and old. Lockdown has been hard on our mental health and we need to ensure that we support each other to prevent as many potential tragedies as possible.

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