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A picture of a wavy rod sign

The Prime Minister has revealed his plans to ease Covid restrictions in England. I confess that I find it hard to get intensely excited that I may be permitted to meet a friend for coffee on 8 March - provided it is not raining and we can find a park bench.

Of course, caution is essential, but we have been cautious for a long time. Like you, I wish our liberation could come sooner but we must continue to comply with all restrictions. Regular testing and vaccination are the only routes to real freedom. We are fortunate to have excellent testing facilities and the rollout of vaccines is proceeding fast.

So, there are reasons to hope that Easter term can be better than Epiphany. Sadly, there is no certainty, but modest hope is justified. If all goes well, the summer can bring real opportunities and a return to something approaching normal life. Our good behaviour now will help to make that desirable outcome more likely.

In other news, the Office for Students has been asked to investigate DSU's proposals for vetting external speakers. Michelle Donelan, the universities minister, confirmed the decision in response to a Parliamentary question this week. The minister expressed her concern about the proposals which will see the SU carrying out risk assessments on events.

She acknowledged that universities must consider any genuine risks in inviting external speakers but emphasised that they also have an obligation to protect freedom of speech.  I shall be following developments with close interest.