How are you feeling this week? Are you happy that the roadmap out of lockdown for England still seems to be heading in the right direction? Have you had your nails done, had a half in a ‘Spoons’ beer garden or been to see the lions at a safari park?

Not me.

At some point in the not too distant future I’m hoping to get a professional haircut in an attempt to repair the damage caused by my lockdown amateur Covid cuts.

But to be honest, I can wait a little bit longer before I’m tempted to go out for a beer – I like my beer gardens a little warmer than they currently are.

The fact is this is the big test for the country. We’ll find out over the next four or five weeks whether the vaccination programme has done its job in protecting us and we can move on to the next stage.

In some ways, I feel that I may be suffering from some kind of coronavirus lockdown Stockholm Syndrome. I’ve quite liked being locked down and working from home and the idea of opening up society too quickly fills me with a degree of anxiety and more than a little apprehension.

My real fear is that we have been here before, opening up too quickly with the resultant rise in Covid infections, hospitalisations and subsequent deaths. I can’t help but think there have been times during this pandemic the government has put public wealth before public health.

Of course, the irony is that by trying to get business going again before the pandemic was truly under control, the government ended up causing even more damage to the economy.

So I really hope that this time round, the government sticks to its four tests:

  • The vaccine deployment programme continues successfully;
  • Evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated;
  • Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS;
  • The assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new ‘Variants of Concern’.

Providing these tests are met, from May 17, the rules will be relaxed further with up to 30 people being able to meet outdoors while indoor hospitality, entertainment venues such as cinemas and soft play areas, the rest of the accommodation sector, and indoor adult group sports and exercise classes will also reopen.

In many ways everything does seem to be on track, but not everything is quite as hunky-dory as they may seem.

The problem is that we are still in the middle of a pandemic and while Covid rules are being relaxed, they have not gone completely – that won’t happen until June 21 when the government hopes to remove all restrictions on social contact.

In the meantime, the government is asking us to use common sense. That’s a lovely sentiment but the fact remains common sense seems to be in short supply.

Take, for example, the plea from The British Retail Consortium (BRC) who is asking shoppers to adhere to social distancing rules and ‘queue considerately’ after the restrictions were eased on Monday. It shouldn’t be necessary to make that plea, but apparently it is.

The BRC, which represents big chain stores, said the public “have a key part to play in creating a safe and enjoyable retail environment”.

Chief executive Helen Dickinson said it was vital retailers “are able to make their contribution to the UK’s economic recovery”.

She said: “Many of us will be looking forward to returning to our favourite shop in the coming weeks, and we all have a duty to keep each other safe. Everyone should be considerate and respectful to their fellow shoppers and hard-working shop staff.

“This way we can all enjoy shopping and support our local communities.”

Among its pleas to the public, the BRC asked people to shop alone where possible, follow instructions, and observe hygiene measures.

That, of course, requires people to use that much-vaunted goodwill and common sense and yet the Co-op has reported a rise in abuse and assaults involving staff during Covid.

The Co-op said last year that violence, abuse and anti-social behaviour had become “normalised” and was at “unprecedented levels” during the pandemic.

Co-op food boss Jo Whitfield said face-covering requirements and social-distancing rules had led to shop workers being “spat at and threatened”.

She said: “The reality is that shop workers are facing levels of violence for just doing their job: they have been spat at and threatened just because they’ve asked customers to respect social distancing,” she wrote in the Daily Telegraph. There’s not much evidence of common sense there, is there?

So excuse me if I don’t join the wave of lockdown relaxation euphoria and rush out to the shops just yet. This pandemic isn’t over and it would be better for all of us if people realised that and acted accordingly. Sadly, I don’t hold out much hope that that’s going to happen.