As we nudge towards some normality, I would like to commend the many businesses in our towns and villages for the way in which they have prioritised both safety and their customers’ experiences.

We all know that it has been incredibly difficult. Shops, cafes, restaurants and pubs have been in touch with me to talk through government guidelines and their own plans for opening. And thankfully, the overwhelming majority of customers have responded patiently and with compliance, in recognition of the part we all have to play in beating the virus and keeping our community safe.

The incidence rate continues to decline and our hospitals have fewer Covid patients every week that passes, and that is simply a result of behaviour. That remains the only tool in the toolbox to overcome Covid-19, until treatment or a vaccine becomes available.

There is increasing evidence to show that obesity is a significant contributory factor in an individual’s recovery. Sadly, the statistics across Copeland are somewhat grim. According to 2018/19 figures, 67.5% of the borough’s residents are overweight or obese, against a national average of 62.3%. And the UK is one of the fattest nations in Western Europe – so our local health inequalities are worrying.

I was rather surprised to learn of my own weight gain, stepping on the scales for the first time in a long time. At 44 years old, and 5ft 3ins tall, my 10 stone 10lbs is certainly teetering on the overweight side and it’s not getting any easier to manage. But it’s simply not enough to talk about weight gain, and while individual action is of course essential, government will be playing an increasingly active part.

The Prime Minister has spoken many times of his own experience in ICU, referencing his unhealthy weight to blame for such serious symptoms. He has taken steps to both enjoy a healthy diet and engage in more exercise – and his changed lifestyle is having an impact on policies.

I was really pleased with the announcement this week that fast food advertising will be restricted, and offers on high-in-fat, high-in-sugar and high-in-salt foods which encourage bulk purchasing will be stopped. Really importantly, the calorie content of meals in larger restaurants will be published on menus.

Knowing how many calories are in a meal would not put me off ordering my favourite foods, but it will enable a more educated choice.

The Chancellor’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme will be welcome as folks can enjoy 50% off their food bill on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays during August. Our many wonderful shops and hospitality venues need your custom – all have gone to great lengths to ensure we feel safe while providing excellent service and I’m very much looking forward to a summer in Cumbria enjoying all that is great about our fantastic community.