MP’s column: Self-reliance and responsibility with help to live with Covid

The continuing success of our vaccination programme means targets are being reached and milestones hit earlier than we had expected.
MP Sir Edward Leigh. EMN-210115-110114001MP Sir Edward Leigh. EMN-210115-110114001
MP Sir Edward Leigh. EMN-210115-110114001

As such, the Prime Minister has announced the rollout of the vaccine will go further and faster than before.

The aim now is for every adult to be offered the vaccine before the end of July, with those in the most vulnerable categories, as well as everyone over 50, being offered the vaccine by April 15.

Every vaccination severely reduces the risk of catching or transmitting the virus, and the resulting increased immunity means that we need to lighten the severe burden of restrictions.

We need to trust people to look after themselves, observe measures like increased hand washing and, when appropriate, mask wearing.

Families and businesses are run by responsible people who have the best interests of their relatives and community at heart.

We will need to learn to live with this virus just as we have learned to live with the flu.

That means we must allow our schools, businesses, and workplaces to open and get back to normal as soon as is feasible.

I continue to believe that, as an island nation, we should have severely restricted arrivals from abroad and quarantined these arrivals.

Doubtless our ongoing experience of the virus will inform future approaches to handling contagion and preserving our way of life simultaneously.

The right approach is to shield and protect the vulnerable, while encouraging self-reliance and taking responsibility for ourselves.

Self-reliance is important, but we often need a helping hand.

That’s why I have been disappointed by the severe cut in central Government’s grant to Lincolnshire’s highways maintenance that has been proposed.

Our Government was elected on the promise to level up and that means looking after the towns and villages in places like Lincolnshire and the roads that keep us connected.

I have written urgently to the Transport Secretary pointing out the proposed cut is contrary to Government policy and that Lincolnshire’s infrastructure needs required investment in order to increase our productivity.

I am very pleased to see that schools will begin reopening from March 8.

Lincolnshire is known for the quality of our schools and teaching, and remote teaching has proved difficult for parents, teachers, and pupils.

There are so many social and mental benefits to in-person learning — whether at school, training, or university — so it is vital for a whole generation that our children are back in school.

With over 18 million vaccines administered, we are well on our way to ending the lockdown safely and securely.