IT does seem a little strange to be 16 months into the pandemic and still we are hearing appeals for people to remember the basics – hands, space, face and fresh air – and to come forward when called to have their vaccinations.

In Durham yesterday, a campaign was launched to remind people that only by ensuring the virus is under control can we keep the county open – and we are all desperate to keep things open and be in a position in a fortnight’s time to see all restrictions relaxed.

But that will only happen if the virus spread is under control and even the young are gaining protection through vaccination.

Because the young often don’t get a severe dose of Covid 19, they wonder why there’s all this fuss about them getting their double vaccinations, but the real point is that it will help stop the virus spread. They are not just protecting themselves, but they are protecting their community – not just against the virus, but against more restrictions.

It is now so easy to get vaccinated, there is no excuse not to play your part, with pop-up centres popping up all over so you don’t even have to be organised enough to pre-arrange an appointment.

Just do it. Keep yourself and your community safe, and keep the county open.