After two years, I finally succumbed to Covid last week – as infection rates rise dramatically following Boris Johnson’s move to lift all restrictions just as the more transmissible omicron variant BA.2 hit the UK. It’s knocked me back a bit and meant that I’m self-isolating, but for those with underlying health conditions and immunodeficiency disorders it’s far more serious – maintaining the pressure on the NHS and all who work in it as we enter the third year of the pandemic.

I’ll be working from home until I get the required two consecutive negative tests but joining meetings online where I can. This includes meetings with Transport Minister Wendy Morton, to discuss rail proposals for Sheffield, and with the recently-appointed Minister for Refugees, Richard Harrington, on the Homes for Ukraine scheme.

On Thursday I’ve one of the regular sessions of the UK Trade and Business Commission, of which I’m a member, looking into the impact of the import checks on goods from EU countries which were introduced in January as part of the Government’s Brexit deal.

I’ve local meetings with City Council leaders and with the organisers of a planned Festival of Friendship with the Palestinian city of Nablus, which I visited in 2017. If free of infection later in the week, I’ll be out knocking on doors and hearing from constituents – as well as catching up with the Star’s editor, postponed from last week.

Parliament will be in recess for Easter from Thursday, so my next weekly update will be published when we’re back on Tuesday 19 April.

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