I share with many of you a sense of relief that life finally seems to be returning to a degree of normality, after what has been an extremely difficult year. It has been particularly moving to see people reunited with family members in care homes in recent weeks and it’s positive that residents are now able to leave their home for low risk trips. Residents of our local care homes, and their families, have sacrificed so much during this pandemic. And staff have demonstrated extraordinary compassion and resilience. As I’ve called for on many occasions, an inquiry into the deaths in our care homes across Warwickshire must be granted, to ensure lessons are learnt.
I’ve also enjoyed seeing people make the most of the (brief) period of good weather we had, visiting local pubs and cafes outdoors where open. I’ve popped to several of our local pubs and it was great to see them serving customers again. Our local pubs and restaurants have gone to great lengths to protect their customers as much as possible and I hope that wider re-opening will happen on the 17th May. In the same vein, it’s been incredible to see our parks buzzing with people. We’re so lucky with green space in our community and at least the various lockdowns have reconnected us all with the great outdoors.
It is very positive that cases locally remain low, as restrictions have been eased. This is testament to the whole community, that has followed the rules and exercised caution where required. As the next stage of the lockdown easing arrives from 17th May, let’s continue to act responsibly to keep cases down until everyone has been fully vaccinated. As there will be greater freedom to socialise indoors with others, let’s remember the importance of ensuring good ventilation by meeting outdoors when possible or opening windows when it’s not, distancing, and wearing our masks – which are such an effective tool against fighting the virus.