The Roadmap to where? A look ahead to the PM announcement

Credit: PA images

So we are seven weeks into the long winter lockdown and some chinks of light are appearing on the horizon.

The vaccination programme is proceeding at pace and the number of people being admitted to hospital is falling.

So where exactly will Boris Johnson’s roadmap take the Midlands in the days and weeks to come?

The watchword is ‘caution’. We are told by those in charge that they favour data over dates.

But we do know that March 8th has been declared the return day for schools - although it may well be up to individual heads and authorities to decide on what scale.

The teaching unions say a mass return would be ‘reckless’ but ministers are aware of the loss children have suffered with a year of disrupted learning.

There is relief for care homes with the announcement that each resident will be allowed one designated visitor. But again the situation will be watched very closely.

What is not yet clear prior to publication of the roadmap, is the extent to which social mixing can be reintroduced. It’s likely to result in a slight relaxation on who will be able to meet up outside. Maybe two households will be able to exercise together or enjoy a socially distanced chat.

Outside sports might also be given a cautious green light in restricted settings.

But as for the reopening of non-essential shops, hairdressing salons, pubs, bars and restaurants, we are warned that that is likely to be a fair way off.

So what do Midlands MPs make of it? A look on social media reveals the shared frustrations and wishes.

Pauline Latham the mid-Derbyshire Conservative laments the loss of revenue for wedding venues - backing their call not to be forgotten by the decision makers.

And the Leicester Labour MP and shadow health secretary, Jon Ashworth urges caution and a commitment from government to ensure financial support for all those businesses hit by the lockdown.

The roadmap will come tomorrow for certain - but its final destination has yet to be revealed.

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