The Government confirmed plans for the further easing of lockdown restrictions from this Monday 19 July. But, as ever, we got muddled messaging - this time on face masks. On the one hand the Government is encouraging the continued use of face masks in certain settings, but on the other hand it is removing the legal requirement to do so.

I welcome the decision from the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, in requiring face masks whilst using the Transport for London network. This includes all London Overground services, buses, tube lines, the DLR, TfL Rail, and trams. This decision makes us all safer and I will also continue wearing my face mask in shops and other enclosed public settings.  

COVID-19 cases are continuing to spread at an exponential rate in Hackney. Please continue to be cautious and think of others when in enclosed public settings. If you have not yet received your vaccine, it is still not too late. There are multiple local walk-in clinics where you can chat with a health professional if you have any concerns and receive your jab the same day. See here for a list of nearby walk-in clinics and for further information on the COVID-19 vaccines from Hackney's Director of Public Health, Dr Sandra Husbands. See here for the latest COVID-19 data in Hackney.

Also this week the Public Accounts Committee held a hearing on school funding where we pressed officials on support for children with special educational needs and disabilities and on the cut in school funding over the past decade. See my round-up for further details and see here for a transcript of the hearing.

And finally, I'm delighted The House magazine (part of the Dods publishing group) is piloting a paid political journalism internship for a Haggerston sixth-former. For many young people that first contact to help get a top-quality work placement is just not within reach. Dods’ inclusive approach of a paid and accessible placement should help today’s Hackney school leavers become the journalists of their generation. We're working to make this a regular feature so more Hackney young people can benefit.