It would be entirely understandable if many were looking apprehensively at Europe’s plight, with lockdowns in Austria, the Netherlands and Italy in the face of surging infections, and wondering if the same fate awaits Britain.
Yet there are grounds for cautious optimism that over the next month or so, our country can escape such stringent measures. Vaccination rates are higher than in most of the rest of Europe, and from today the over-40s can book their booster jabs.
They should do so without hesitation. Ministers and their scientific advisers are right to point to the success of the vaccination programme in keeping the country open even as others have found it necessary to lock down.
Though infection rates in Britain are high, the numbers needing hospitalisation remain stable. Each death from the illness is of course regrettable, but thankfully the numbers are relatively low.
Testimony from hospitals is overwhelmingly that those needing to be admitted have not been vaccinated.
That in itself should persuade everybody who is invited to have their first and second jabs, or the booster, to get them done.
These are the means to avoid a repeat of winter restrictions.
The public still has its part to play in keeping Covid at bay, and the prospect of enjoying Christmas with loved ones should focus minds.