WITH more steps towards normality due to be taken on Monday, we are slowly escaping the clutches of Covid, but it is a cunning virus.

The Indian variant is clearly a threat and we must tread with caution. The virus is not going away. Only last night, Stockton council’s figures from the week just gone showed 62 new cases in the borough compared with 44 the week before.

For all we are looking forward to going in to pubs and hugging other humans, we still have to respect each other and respect ourselves and take care.

People travelling to areas suffering with the Indian variant, like Bolton and Blackpool, really should think twice, and so must the Government: travel causes transmission, so our are borders as tightly closed as they should be?

It is such a difficult balance to strike. We all want fun, we probably all want the sun of a foreign holiday, but equally, having come so far with so many dead and having seen so much economic cost, we really want to see this through until the virus is as defeated as it can be.

So think hands, face, space, and then think twice. Stay safe – and help keep others safe, too.