A relaxed summer that saw a return to the old normal for many, followed by an autumn of increasingly chilly ministerial statements, and then, slam, back in lockdown for Christmas and beyond. 

That was the story of 2020. Might it be the same in 2021?

As announcements were made in Westminster and Edinburgh today it certainly seemed like a case of deja vu all over again. 

Yet many things have changed since last September, chief of which is the presence of the vaccine. At the same time, however, one fundamental principle has remained the same: protecting the NHS from being overwhelmed.

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