AT LAST, a Health Secretary brimming with optimism.
Sajid Javid raised the bar in the Commons on Monday, promising not to keep restrictions on our freedoms for “a moment longer than necessary”.
It’s high time.
By 19 July, the entire country will have held its breath for almost 16 long months.
An awful lot has changed in that time and our behaviour must follow suit.
Despite the virulence of the latest strain, the death rate is mercifully low.
The vaccines work and early evidence is that some may confer immunity for good.
But viruses will always be a threat to humankind, so live with them we must.
There is genuinely no alternative.
Australia’s attempt at zero Covid appears to have failed and, without a mass vaccination plan, her citizens have been left horribly exposed to the virus.
Their Prime Minister has suggested his people could be locked in – or out – for up to five years.
Back in the UK, it’s time to cast off all the petty and nonsensical regulations snarling up our recovery.
I think it fair to say that many now are tired of the rules, not helped by those who simply disobey them, or who are excluded.
For the NHS, despite the exemplary dedication of doctors and nurses, an overhaul is needed.
It must serve us; not the other way around.
On that point, I asked Mr Javid on Monday to help persuade GPs to return to face-to-face appointments.
Though consultations have now reached seven million a week, which surpasses pre-pandemic levels, only 55 per cent are one-to-one.
Mr Javid promised to pursue this.
For many, especially the more vulnerable, it’s a vital first step back to normality.