All Parliamentarians should wear face masks in the Chamber at all times. The Operational Guidelines on Preparedness and Response for COVID – 19 Outbreak for the Parliament presented yesterday, state that all Members of Parliament in the Chamber should wear masks at all times.
Accordingly, all Members of Parliament should not remove or lower the mask when speaking in Parliament and remain in the Chamber as well.
The Guidelines further state that it is mandatory for all Members to sit in the designated seat only and whenever they are not seated in their designated seats should maintain a 1 metre distance with each other at all times in the Chamber.
Director General of Health Services Dr. Anil Jasinghe handed over The Operational Guidelines on Preparedness and Response for COVID – 19 Outbreak for Parliament which contains 21 guidelines to the Secretary General of Parliament Dhammika Dasanayake yesterday (31) states a communiqué issued by the Parliament Department of communication.
Secretary General of Parliament Dhammika Dasanayake said that the guidelines state that all officers in the Chamber and members of Parliament staff as well as all parties in the galleries should wear masks. Sanitizers should be kept at every entrance to the Chamber and Members of Parliament and officials should wash their hands before entering the Chamber.
It is mandatory for Members of Parliament to follow these guidelines at Committee meetings as well.
The need of wearing masks whenever possible was also emphasized.
In addition, the guidelines include that Members of Parliament should not exchange their personal items such as mobile devices, head phones, pens etc. with others and should avoid habits of greeting such as hugging and shaking hands.
He said that When 9th Parliament convenes all 225 Members of Parliament could be seated safely in the Chamber.
These guide lines are prepared to cover a number of locations in Parliament, including the Chamber of Parliament, Members Lounge, Public, Media and Special Guests Gallery, Member’s Restaurants, Library, Kitchens, Staff Cafeteria and guidelines have also been issued for transportation Services and office cleaning staff.
Deputy Secretary General and Chief of Staff Neil Iddawala and Parliament officials were present at the occasion.