So here we are, embarking on day two of life under Level 0 – or the new variant Level 0, at any rate.

While the world doesn’t feel massively different today than it did last week, we have taken another step towards recovery.

The reduction of indoor physical distancing from two metres to one now allows shops, pubs, cafes and other premises to fit in more customers and, obviously, gives them a better chance of trading viably. The fact that we no longer need to pre-book our two-hour slot at a hospitality venue should boost passing trade – especially if this good weather stays with us.

That said, it’s less good news for sectors like the events industry that outdoor social distancing remains.

But, after some weeks spent trying to decode the hints and signals from government, we now at least have some certainty about what trading conditions will look like for the next few weeks.

As important as all this is, though, the more significant date is still August 9 – when, I hardly need remind you, we’re set to move “beyond Level 0” and say goodbye to a swathe of the remaining restrictions.

Of course, quite how wide this swathe is going to be is a matter of intense debate. The First Minister and others have been very clear that some regulations will remain in place beyond August – possibly for some time, if reports are to be relied upon.

So what will be the features of this post-levels landscape? How do we ensure whatever stays is not disproportionately difficult for the smaller businesses on which so many jobs and communities rely? And what price are we willing to pay in order to have the most burdensome rules removed?

None of these is an easy question to answer. But one thing we do know is that the blunt instrument of blanket self-isolation for close contacts of anyone who tests Covid-positive is to be dropped. This can’t come soon enough for small workplaces, on whom the impact has been particularly severe. If your entire workforce comprises a handful of employees on a single site, all of whom will inevitably come into close contact with each other, the current rules could force you to close completely. So, exempting those contacts who are double-vaccinated and then test negative makes perfect sense.

Similarly, removing physical distancing requirements will boost turnover in smaller landlocked premises and hospitality venues, which have struggled to welcome back enough customers to trade profitably. Operating at capacity might just help them salvage something of a summer.

This, though, is exactly the sort of move for which government might require a trade-off – such as the continued mandatory wearing of facemasks in certain settings. Realistically, many might regard this as a fair bargain.

Whatever happens, though, any rules that do remain need to be as clear, few in number and sensible as possible. And they need to be communicated clearly to the public, employees and businesses. A morass of regulations, guidance and best practice swirling around and confusing everyone is a recipe for trouble.

Neither can any remaining regulations be open-ended. It’s not a given that individual businesses or the wider economies they sustain will automatically bounce back whenever this is over. And every day of restrictions beyond August 9 makes the climb back that little bit higher and harder. Indeed, businesses in certain sectors who lose another summer could well need another autumn and winter of support. So, if it stays after August 9, it must have a shelf-life.

No-one wants to risk the progress we’ve made by being rash in this final mile. But leaving measures in place for longer than needed isn’t exactly risk-free either.

Colin Borland is director of devolved nations for the Federation of Small Businesses