disguise Mandates on Commons Estate Mandatory disguise-wearing rule in Commons will not apply to MPs
Everyone except MPs will have to use confront coverings while on the parliamentary estate due to rising Covid-19 situations, the House of Commons has ordered.
The measure will apply to staff, contractors and visitors but the Commons authorities said it could not compel MPs to use masks as they are not deemed to be Parliament employees.
However, officials said Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle would be encouraging elected representatives, despite not being obliged to use a confront covering, to put one on in the Commons chamber unless they are speaking or are exempt.
A Commons spokesman said: “The House’s priority is to ensure that those on the estate are safe while business is facilitated.
“Due to recent increases in Covid-19 across the country, which are also being reflected in Parliament, we have updated our Covid-19 guidance for those working on the estate.
“confront coverings are now mandatory for all staff, contractors and third parties while on the estate, unless there is a authentic exemption in place.”
All staff and visitors to the House of Commons will have to use confront masks but the ruling does not apply to MPs.
The ruling comes after MPs were urged to use masks during the Chancellor’s Budget speech on Wednesday by a coronavirus expert from the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Dr David Nabarro, the WHO’s special envoy for Covid-19, said that “everybody” should be wearing masks in close confinement with other people, “including our leaders”.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid has already committed to wearing a disguise in the Commons when it is packed on Budget day, having urged politicians to rule by example following a recent spike in situations.
But Mr Javid said on Monday that wearing a disguise in the crowded chamber is a “personal decision” for ministers and backbenchers.
Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg last week insisted Tories do not need to use masks in Parliament because with their “convivial, fraternal spirit” they know each other well.
Reporting by PA Media
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