Mansfield MP says we must ensure this is the final lockdown
Last week the Prime Minister announced his plans for us to cautiously ease the lockdown restrictions.
More and more people are being vaccinated daily, with figures reaching half a million people jabbed in just one day last Friday, meaning the people who we care about will be protected and we can begin to gradually reduce the restrictions.
More than a third of the adult population of Mansfield has had the jab now.
This must be the final lockdown, so we need to stick to the rules and listen to the guidance.
The roadmap sets out the four stages for easing the restrictions with time between each phase for the Government to fully examine the latest data and make sure we are in a position to move to the next stage.
The first step means that our children will be going back to school from March 8.
This is really positive and important news as school is absolutely vital for their wellbeing and development.
I recently went to Manor Academy’s testing site and was really impressed with what they have in place for the students return.
It was great to hear that teachers and staff are really keen to get the children back in.
The Government are prioritising ways we can safely reunite with our loved ones outdoors.
Also on March 8, we will be able to meet one other person outside socially and one named person is allowed to visit loved ones at care homes.
From March 29, the rule of six will return for outdoor places where the risk is lower, including in private gardens, and outdoor sports facilities which will also reopen.
I for one cannot wait to see my family and friends in a social setting as it seems like it has been forever, as well as getting back on the hockey pitch.
In step two, which will not be earlier than April 12, shops, hairdressers, gyms and holiday lets will be allowed to reopen, and pubs and restaurants that can serve outdoors.
Steps three and four will then continue at five-week intervals and hopefully we will begin to return to normal life.
Whether you think things should be done quicker, slower or different, the roadmap is a positive way out of this pandemic – that can only be good.
Ben Bradley is MP for Mansfield.