“ROADMAP” is a misnomer. It suggests a journey from London to, say, Edinburgh, where we know where we’re going, what obstacles we may encounter and where we are likely to stop.
But that is not the sort of journey the pandemic is taking us on. It is more like travelling through a maize, where there are unexpected twists, turns and dead ends, and we are feeling our way rather than relying on the predetermined route of the satnav to get us there.
And calling it a roadmap suggests we know what that our final destination is going to be pre-Covid normality. That, though, is extremely unlikely: wherever we end up is likely to be a very different place with Covid periodically flaring up despite people wearing face masks and carrying vaccine passports.
We really hope we can take another step on our journey on June 21, but we would be foolish to ignore the scientists urging caution. However, because of an unexpected twist, perhaps the dials we should be looking at on our dashboard are no longer those telling us the speed of the growth of infections but the acceleration in the number of hospitalisations.
It is a very difficult decision for the Government to make. Perhaps the best advice is for it to ignore siren calls urging it to veer off to complete freedom or to crackdown to tighter restrictions, and to steer a steady course whereby June 21 is just an intermediate point and we accept that there are still many twists and turns to come.