Due to a fear that Covid will spread through the Parliamentary estate, ‘Plan B’ style restrictions have been introduced to the House of Commons. Some of the measures include mandatory mask-wearing for MP’s staff (MPs themselves are exempt from the rule), working from home whenever possible, as well as social distancing at select committee meetings. The Express has the story.
A Parliamentary spokesperson said: “The House’s priority is to ensure that those on the estate are safe while business is facilitated.
“There have been recent increases in Covid across the country and these are also being reflected in Parliament.
“The U.K. Health Security Agency has determined that the risk of transmission on the Parliamentary estate is now greater.
“As a consequence, some further action is being taken to ensure that case numbers do not continue to rise”.
A number of the new measures being imposed in Parliament, including work from home rules and compulsory mask-wearing, mirror aspects of the Government’s Covid ‘Plan B’.
This is likely to increase speculation about further restrictions being introduced across the whole of England in the coming weeks.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid has been vague about what exactly would trigger the Government to introduce these measures.
Ministers were told by scientific advisors in SAGE late last month to begin preparing for the “rapid deployment” of winter Covid restrictions.
They were warned that “there remains potential for a rapid increase in hospital admissions if behaviours [among members of the public] change quickly”.
Under its ‘Plan B’, the Government would also introduce vaccine passports for all “large venues”, barring those who haven’t been jabbed from many hospitality venues, and the further communication of additional risk to the public.
Worth reading in full.