Robert Jenrick: Move forward, but with caution
Over 30m people in the country have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine.
This is a fantastic achievement and, again, I praise all those involved in the roll-out.
Although this number is substantial and the government is still on track to offer a dose to every adult by the end of July, we must not lose momentum.
As the Prime Minister has said, the vaccine roll-out is now entering its next stage, with second doses starting to be delivered.
It is vital that when you are called up for your second dose that you get it. The second dose increases the effectiveness of the vaccine helping to further protect you and your loved ones.
If you are reading this and you are over 50, or have an underlying health condition and have not yet had your first dose, contact either your local GP, the NHS vaccine booking system on 119, 0115 883 4640 or book online at www.swiftqueue.co.uk/nottinghamc19vpatient.php
There is light at the end of the tunnel, but we need to continue to be cautious.
Earlier this week the rules changed allowing up to six people or two households of any number, to meet outdoors, including in gardens. This change will be welcome, finally allowing families and loved ones to see one another, but we cannot take this liberty for granted and must continue to follow the hands, face, space rule, bringing the virus under control.
The PM’s roadmap is based on data and not dates, giving government and the scientific community time to evaluate each step and allow changes if needed.
The next step is on April 12. From this date non-essential retail can reopen as well as hospitality venues, where you can get table service outdoors.
It is important if this unlocking does happen, we all play our part and support independent retailers get back onto their feet and buy local.
The Chancellor delivered his budget, with the Restart Grant scheme that will help shops prepare for reopening — www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-youre-eligible-for-a-coronavirus-restart-grant
It was welcome to see the Newark Towns Fund bid prepared by the district council was successful — good news and a welcome boost to the local economy and confidence in the town as we move forwards, beyond the pandemic.