Nearly all Covid-19 restrictions will be lifted on August 7, 2021.

It is welcome news for us all.

The people of Islwyn and Wales have sacrificed so much in the communal effort to survive and move through this pandemic. The pandemic is not over and the news that the former Cardiff City goalkeeper Neil Etheridge, who now plays for Birmingham City, has been hospitalised with Covid-19 at the age 31 is a warning to us all that this deadly virus will continue to dramatically impact some.

The First Minister has made clear that, in Wales, it will remain law to wear a face mask on public transport and in most indoor settings but not for hospitality such as pubs and restaurants.

A return to an almost normal way of life that we once took for granted is possible because of the amazing success story of Wales’ vaccination programme. Wales, under our Welsh Labour Government, continues to have the highest levels of vaccination in the UK, with nine out of 10 adults having one dose and more than seven out 10 completing the two-dose course.

I urge every Islwyn resident to take up the vaccination offer and to urge their friends and families to do so too. The vaccines are weakening the link between Covid-19 and hospitalisations & deaths. Do your bit for to help keep yourself and your friends & family safe — get vaccinated.

As the Senedd rises for its summer recess I have been grateful to have been elected to sit on the Finance and Public Accounts and Public Administration Committees.

As the chairperson of the Cross-Party Group on Music, I will continue to work with the many members across the chamber and across all parties who are committed to ensure that Wales’ children will continue to have access to their musical birth right.

The Cwmcarn Forest Scenic Drive is now fully re-opened, I loved seeing the South Wales Argus front page cover proclaiming the good news.

I hope that many Islwyn residents will take the opportunity to take in our wonderful Welsh environment. I continue to oppose the controversial waste plant at Nine Mile Point in Cwmfelinfach.

Hazrem Environmental Ltd may have sold up and moved on but I have met with and written to Natural Resources Wales asking for an explanation of the legality of the transfer of the environmental license for the site to the new owners.

I want to wish all readers a safe and enjoyable summer.