With many COVID-19 restrictions in England being lifted today, the Government now needs to move on from its COVID war footing. Shockingly enough, there are plenty more problems to tackle.

This country, along with so many around the world, has suffered greatly over the past two years. Hundreds of thousands of people have either died or are suffering long-term effects from contracting COVID-19, and many peoples' livelihoods have suffered from the imposition of lockdowns.

That is why it will come as a great relief to so many that restrictions on working from home, mask-wearing and COVID passports come to an end today, and legal requirements around self-isolation will be gone by the end of March. With England catching up with the rest of the UK, the whole country can finally look to move on from the pandemic and look forward.

At the head of this forward-thinking optimism must be the Government. No longer can it avoid forging ahead with new policy by using the excuse of uncertainty caused by COVID and the desire to avoid increasing case numbers.

Boris has to make up for lost time, and honestly, it's a case of out of the frying pan and into the fire in terms of the policy challenges they face.

Johnson and his ministers have a long list of priorities all vying for top spot. Michael Gove faces the unenviable task of making progress on Boris' favourite phrase "levelling up" – whatever that means. Areas for improvement range from planning regulations to regional transport to rural broadband. If Gove is to make any progress, he needs to nail down what "levelling up" really means, or he'll spend the next two years not knowing where to start.

The dynamic duo of Sajid Javid and Gillian Keegan are faced with a health and social care system crippled by the pandemic. They will have to try to pretend they give equal consideration to both sides' needs while knowing full well the NHS will guzzle up most of the money and still require an indeterminable sum of billions more to run to even an adequate level. The National Insurance rise coming into effect in April is due to provide an extra £12 billion a year over the next three years for the Health and Social Care Levy, yet social care is slated to receive only £5.4 billion over the three-year period. With a growing ageing population, this will quickly become a source of great political difficulty if not handled properly.

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Priti Patel will be manning the barricades in her bulletproof vest adorned with "Home Secretary" trying desperately to stop thousands of migrants from crossing the Channel (no thanks to Monsieur Macron). It's not just border security that Patel has to worry about. She also has to manage low trust levels in the nation's police forces, while trying to increase numbers of officers on the street.

Looking abroad, Liz Truss finds herself fighting battles on several fronts. Following Lord Frost's resignation, she is now leading Brexit negotiations aiming to resolve the Northern Ireland issue, which this week reached another stalemate. Couple that with Vladimir Putin on the warpath virtually being encouraged to dip his toes into Ukraine by US President Joe Biden, and the next few months are likely to be very interesting for the Foreign Secretary.

That Johnson and his ministers are taking on policy challenges of such immense size is to be commended. For too long the UK has limped along, with the nation's biggest challenges handed from one government to the next.

The most obvious stumbling block on the road ahead is, of course, the outcome of Sue Gray's report into the Downing Street parties. Expected to be published later today, if it at all indicates that the gatherings that took place were in any way unlawful, it may well be the end for Johnson. That would lead at the very least to a leadership election, with the aforementioned Gove and Truss likely to be among the frontrunners.

Whatever happens, one thing is absolutely certain. People in the UK are fed up with the apparent lack of activity in government. For many people, they could not care whether Boris Johnson resigns or doesn't, what they want is to see meaningful action begin to get underway. People care about the cost of living and whether anything will be done to lessen the blow of energy price rises. People care about being able to see their GP and specialists about a potential cancer diagnosis. They do not care about birthday cake.

If the Government (and whoever is leading it) can press on in efforts to tackle these issues, then the 2024 election will look far more winnable than it currently does. People will respect the fact that these are not quick fixes, thus they are more likely to back continuity and give the Conservative Party a chance to finish what it started.

Fail to do so, and, if current polls are anything to go by, voters may give Labour a go at the top table, and who knows what that might bring?

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