All MP’s & staff must wear masks in Parliament

2020-08-01 at 07:30

‘Operational guidelines on preparedness and response for COVID-19 for Parliament’ was tabled yesterday.

According to the guidelines all Members of Parliament in the chamber must wear masks at all times.

The Parliament Communication Department said MPs must not remove or lower their mask when addressing Parliament and when they remain in the Chamber.

The guidelines further state it is mandatory for all members to sit in designated seats while when not in seats, they must maintain a meters distance in the chamber.

The Director General of Health Services Dr. Anil Jasinghe handed over the guidelines for Parliament that consists of 21 steps, to the Secretary General of Parliament Dhammika Dasanayake.

Dasanayake said the guidelines state that all officers in the chamber and members of Parliament staff as well as all parties in the galleries must wear masks.

Sanitizers will be placed at every entrance to the chamber while MPs and officials should wash their hands before entering the chamber.

The statement said it is also mandatory for MPs to follow guidelines at Committee meetings as well.

In addition, the guidelines include that MPs must not exchange personal items such as mobile devices, head phones, pens etc. and must avoid habits of greeting fellow MPs.

Addressing the gathering, Dr. Jasinghe said the guidelines are important in ensuring the safe function of Parliament.

He also pointed out that the guidelines have been prepared to cover all sections of Parliament adding that at the request of the Secretary General of Parliament, the guidelines were prepared with this being the third set of guidelines by the Ministry of Health.

The guidelines are prepared to cover a number of locations in Parliament, including the Chamber of Parliament, Members Lounge, Public, Media & Special Guests Gallery, Member’s Restaurants, Library, Kitchens and Staff Cafeteria.

Guidelines have also been issued for transportation Services and office cleaning staff.