THE next big date in the Covid journey will be August 16 when the double jabbed and under 18s no longer need to self-isolate if they are identified as a close contact of someone with the virus. This should very much help the country continue its recovery.

The news about infections, hospitalisations and thankfully deaths are good. They remain at a fraction of the second wave numbers from earlier this year.

But there can be no complacency and I know ministers are watching the situation closely. We need to continue to get our jabs, especially young people, who are getting infected the most at the moment. Only 68% of people aged 18-29 have so far had a jab. This needs to improve.

However, I am absolutely astounded at our vaccine rollout and I thank everyone for all they have done. Nearly 85 million doses have been given across the UK and more than 46 million people have had a first vaccine dose or around 90% of the adult population.

More than 70% of adults – or 37 million have had both doses.

The more we close the gap on the last unvaccinated 10 per cent, the better we will be. Sooner or later, everyone will come into contact with the virus and there is no doubt it is far better to be vaccinated.

One issue that will come up in the coming weeks is Covid passports to allow entry into a range of venues. I undertook an online survey a few months ago and the result was 50-50 in favour of them or against them. I have started the survey again and you can contribute at this link:

There are clearly pros and cons about these passports. I have not yet made my mind up on them and I await the Government’s proposals before I do.

The parliamentary recess is now upon us and I will be taking some time off, as will my hard-working staff.

But I will also be out and about in my beautiful constituency too. Already I have visited world-leading businesses, a cider maker and a vineyard. We have an amazing range of companies in Meon Valley and I always enjoy learning about them on my visits.

Although I am loath to look beyond the summer right now, the UK is hosting another major international conference when the 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) takes place in Glasgow from October 31-November 12.

The UK is a world leader in cutting carbon emissions and tackling climate change but it is not just governments that will bring about change but local communities across Hampshire.

I look forward to working with groups like Winchester Action on Climate Change (WinACC) to promote local initiatives in the run up to the conference. I also hope to work with local schools too into this exciting and incredibly important work we must all undertake, if we are to avoid a lasting climate emergency. If any other groups in Meon Valley are getting involved in COP26 then please drop me a line.

It now falls to me to say I wish everyone a happy summer holiday. There is real confidence we may now be past the worst of the pandemic but, as ever, please keep safe.

Flick Drummond

MP for Meon Valley