In a speech to the House of Commons on 22nd February the prime minister gave details of the government’s road map for exiting the current lockdown in four stages, subject to four conditions being met at each stage.
This was such welcome news as I for one was struggling with the lockdown. Being a planner, it is so hard to plan when you have no idea of time frames. Boris Johnson said that although the threat “remains substantial,” the “extraordinary success” of the covid-19 vaccine programme led by the NHS, alongside falling infections and hospital admissions, meant that a cautious lifting of restrictions was now possible.
Whilst this is a sensible plan, and people became instantly obsessed with the dates and ignored the phrase “at the earliest”. I may be pessimistic but I think the dates with be extended as some has just ignored the lockdown restrictions. A friend posted on Twitter that a couple had travelled up from Portsmouth this weekend and found them camping in her field. What is wrong with people. I keep also hearing the phrase “oh it’s boring so we went for a drive for a change of scene” I find it baffling, I have found the restrictions tedious, there is a well walked path on the usual dog routes from my house. Whilst the weather was good, it was a shame not to enjoy the higher fells but we have been asked to respect the lockdown. I for one would rather not contract COVID and worse case scenario die.
Our business like many is intrinsically link to the hospitality sector being open. Having the restrictions lifted so we can get back to a sense of normality. It feels surreal that it has been a year since the impact of COVID. As attention starts to shift towards when and how the lockdown exit will be implemented, one thing is for sure our home county of Cumbria will be extremely busy.
The business support grants and furlough have been a lifeline for our business and lets hope Chancellor, Rishi Sunak will continue to deliver an adequate level of support in next week’s Budget announcement (March 3).
The light at the end of the tunnel has been officially switched on.