We all know the lockdown will come to an end. The answer everyone is looking for is when is that likely to be? It’s a question I’m asked by constituents every day – I even ask it myself.

Frustratingly, there is no straight answer. We have never faced this kind of threat before, and public safety has to remain paramount.

Covid 19 has already claimed too many mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, friends and neighbours. We need to be led by scientific and clinical advice to find our way to a ‘new normal’, one that allows society to function as best it can, while work to develop a vaccine for this deadly virus continues.

It is crucial that we also look to the rest of the world – that we are learning from positive interventions, understanding and avoiding making the same mistakes and crucially, we follow the data.

Germany has had good successes in its combat against Covid 19, and recently, in some parts of the country, they have relaxed lockdown measures. With this easing of restrictions, they are seeing signs that the infection transfer rate may be climbing again, so much so that they are considering whether it is time to return to a stricter lockdown.

This information shows just why we need to carefully consider the impact of relaxing restrictions in parts of the country where rates of Covid 19 are lower.

Here and now, it can’t be right for us to take chances that mean all of our collective good work, hardship and sacrifice go to waste if we ease restrictions only to see us facing another crisis and stricter conditions as a result.

The Scottish Government has now recommended using face coverings, masks or scarves, while in situations where we may inadvertently or otherwise come into close contact with others, such as when shopping for essentials. Face coverings are to protect others from anything we might transmit and are not a ticket to allow us out more; they are an additional requirement to keep us safe.

Current infection and hospital numbers are encouraging, and we must take hope from that and not become complacent. We must continue to show we care for each other by staying safe, staying indoors and sticking to the lockdown rules.

These are troubling and difficult times with no quick or easy answers, despite the hardship and frustration we simply have to tough it out. Together, we will get there.

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