CAROLINE ANSELL MP: It’s time to get back to living as normal

I am happy to support the Prime Minister’s intention to end most Covid restrictions on July 19.

Thursday, 8th July 2021, 12:02 pm

Our amazing vaccination programme has severely weakened the link between infections and serious illness and it is time we started to get back to normal and live with this virus.

In essence, the plan is to say the wearing of masks will be voluntary and the one-metre social distancing rule will be scrapped.

Mass gatherings and weddings of any number can take place.

We can order a pint at the bar again. The work from home rule will end.

I think it’s really important to say here that we must all respect each other’s view on this and, as the PM said, take personal responsibility for our actions and not judge.

From my own point of view, I will wear a mask to any meeting or visit I go to if I am asked to do so.

I will also continue to regularly test for Covid.

I am keen to keep people safe and help people feel they are safe if that is what makes them more comfortable.

In other areas of my life – visiting family and friends, for example - I anticipate more freedom but I’ll have a mask in my pocket.

Wearing it will be about context and assessing the situation and using common sense.

That will be the same for us all.

I understand not everyone is happy with the ending of these rules but I thought the PM’s comment on Monday that, in effect, it’s now or never, was compelling.

If we don’t try and return to normal as we approach every adult in the UK being offered an effective vaccine, then when will we?

In Westminster, I spoke in Parliament about a big backlog in court cases in Sussex that is causing heartache for victims and uncertainty for those who are accused.

Around 800 cases are outstanding in Crown Courts across the county because of the pandemic and I brought this figure to the attention of the acting Attorney General Michael Ellis who assured me work was taking place to reduce this number.

I also met with the export minister Graham Stuart to discuss the plight of language schools in Eastbourne and beyond.

As many readers know, this is a big part of our town’s economy and I think of no sector harder hit by Covid.

There are a number of proposals ‘in play’ and this is not just about the pandemic but a way forward for language schools as part of global Britain.

I will continue to do all I can to advocate for our language schools to give them a bright future.

Massive congratulations to England for their win over Denmark and a place in the Euro final against Italy.

A brilliant result!

Like just about everyone else, I will be glued to the telly on Sunday and I wish the boys the very best of luck.