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.
Thanks to the continued efforts of the British people, our brilliant NHS, and our historic vaccination programme, we have already made great progress in our roadmap to reclaiming our normal way of life – and seen the link between cases and hospitalisations severely weakened, but not broken.
Yesterday, the Prime Minister announced that our final roadmap step on 19 July will mean an end to legal restrictions – with social distancing and mask-wearing requirements in law ending, large events restarting, restrictions on care home visits being lifted and all businesses being allowed to fully reopen as everyone can return to work.
The Prime Minister also set out our plans to control the virus by accelerating our vaccine rollout, continuing with an updated test and trace programme, maintaining tough border controls, and retaining contingency measures as we allow the public to make their own informed decisions about how to balance risks and manage the virus.
And today, the Education Secretary announced plans to remove bubbles and contact isolation for pupils in England while maintaining other key protections, so that children are able to safely remain in school where they belong.
The pandemic is not over and cases will continue to rise over the coming weeks, so as we begin to learn to live with this virus, we must all continue to carefully manage the risks from COVID and exercise judgement when going about our lives.