The vaccine rollout is going well and cases have plummeted since lockdown began at the start of the year.
And yet the road out of lockdown in England and elsewhere in the UK is slow and gradual.
Ministers say they want to closely monitor the impact of each step before moving on to the next one. It is a process which will take four months at least.
Why is the government being so cautious?
There can be no more steps backwards
A key mantra in the lead up to the announcement is that each step forward must be irreversible. There must be no steps back.
But despite falling infection rates, the number of new daily cases still remains relatively high compared to summer and early autumn last year. It is a very delicate position.
Plus ministers have certainly been stung by the problems of last year, when the first unlocking saw areas in the North West and Midlands having restrictions quickly re-imposed.
Then, during the…
— to www.bbc.co.uk