RETURNING to my theme of how opening up is proving more difficult than locking down, that is not just true of public services such as the NHS or schools, but also many private sector businesses too.

Schemes such as the job retention scheme (furlough) have helped many businesses survive – although too many found they were entitled to no help at all – but the harsh truth is some will not be able to open up again.

We have seen significant job losses in sectors like engineering and aviation.

Others are struggling to find a way to reopen while still observing public health rules – hence pubs opening this week, but only for outside tables.

We all have a part to play in trying to help local businesses get going again.

If you are shopping for something that is available on the local high street, please do take your custom there rather than going online or into town.

If you are planning to go out for a meal (outside) because you can – please do think about using one of our fantastic local restaurants.

The other sector critical to the East Lothian economy is tourism. Self-catering and holiday park guests are already arriving, and July 15 will see other tourism businesses opening up.

I like to think East Lothian is always welcoming of those who make the understandable decision to holiday here or just visit for the day – we need to be extra welcoming this year!

Scotland has been cautious about opening up, and the public health guidance has been carefully developed to keep us as safe as possible, and we can welcome visitors with confidence. The idiots who spent Saturday on the A1 shouting at visitors from England to stay at home are doing us no favours. Our county needs visitors and we should welcome them, albeit from a safe distance rather than with open arms.