Christopher Whiteside MBE is Conservative County Councillor for the Egremont North and St Bees Division of Cumbria County Council. The division includes St Bees, Bigrigg, Wood End, Moor Row, part of the Mirehouse area of Whitehaven, and surrounding countryside.
He is also deputy chair (political and campaigning) of the North-West region of the voluntary wing of the Conservative party.
Chris lives and works in Copeland with his wife and family.
The sacrifices made by the British public and the success of our vaccine programme take us closer to defeating this awful virus every day – but it is still in circulation and we must remain cautious.
The progress we have made means that from today, we are able to proceed with the next steps in our cautious roadmap out of this pandemic and ease some restrictions on meeting people outdoors in the fresh air where the risk of catching the disease is far lower by:
Lifting the ‘stay at home’ guidance – it is no longer essential you remain indoors, but you should still work from home if possible and minimise the number of journeys you take.
Allowing up to six people – or two households – to meet outdoors, in public spaces or private gardens, meaning families can safely be together with their loved ones over Easter.
Reopening outdoor sports facilities including swimming pools, golf courses, sports pitches and courts to enable sports to resume, including team sports, meaning many grassroots competitions will be able to go ahead.
These measures will come as a massive relief after a challenging few months, but as we rediscover the connections and activities that are so vital to our lives and mental health it is vital we continue to remember to wash our hands, cover our face, give people space and only meet others in the fresh air.