By Kenny MacAskill

AS WE adjust to a new normal, it’s vital we ‘ca’ canny’.

Getting out to shops, cafes and pubs is important for wellbeing, as much as our economy.

I’ve enjoyed a coffee outdoors, nattering to friends and meeting with constituents.

Simple things like that which we once took for granted are to be savoured.

But restrictions, whether in the wearing of face masks or social distancing, are also required and they need adhered too.

We’ve travelled a long hard road towards recovery and we just can’t afford to throw away the gains made through all that hardship.

Besides, the risks are too great. Not only must we protect the vulnerable, but we need to remember that it would be much worse second time around.

As we’re seeing in Leicester, a further lockdown isn’t accompanied by the same level of support.

The costs to individuals and businesses is high enough already.

The financial hardship would be far worse a second time around.

It’s not killjoy rules or needless bureaucracy but essential actions to protect us all from a further outbreak.

Follow the guidance and be mindful of others.

Lockdown has also shown the importance of connectivity, whether mobile or broadband.

Folk have been working from home, kids doing schoolwork and many just keeping in touch with family and friends.

It’s an issue I raised in Parliament last week, as many constituents both before and during the crisis were lamenting the deplorable broadband connection.

As I said to the UK Minister, it’s not as if East Lothian is remote, with the A1, East Coast Mainline and National Grid running through it.

Yet the medium to the fore during this crisis and in many ways from now on is connectivity. More needs done.

Only 91 per cent of Scotland, yet 98 per cent of England, is targeted for mobile coverage and the broadband access is similarly worse.

As the county needed road and rail, now it needs wi-fi and broadband.

The UK Government must deliver for every area.