The Commons Speaker today pleaded with MPs to keep wearing face masks at Parliament saying he is ‘very worried’ about the number of people being ‘pinged’.
Sir Lindsay Hoyle urged politicians not to ‘push the limits for the sake of it’ following the easing of restrictions in England – warning they risked taking infection back to their families and communities.
The statement in the chamber came amid growing alarm at spiking cases across the country, and the potential for spread as MPs shuttle between Westminster and their constituencies.
Unions have criticised the Speaker for making it compulsory for staff to wear a mask, but only advising that members do so.
But Sir Lindsay has pointed out there is ‘no meaningful way’ for him to force MPs to wear a face covering now it is legally optional.
Sir Lindsay Hoyle urged politicians not to ‘push the limits for the sake of it’ following the easing of restrictions in England
The Commons Speaker today pleaded with MPs to keep wearing face masks at Parliament saying he is ‘very worried’ about the number of people being ‘pinged’
Boris Johnson is self-isolating at his Chequers retreat after Health Secretary Sajid Javid tested positive
Sir Lindsay told the House this afternoon: ‘With the increasing infection levels in the community and people having to isolate, I strongly advise that everyone on the estate should wear face coverings when moving around, assessing catering venues and in the areas they consider crowded, including the chamber.
‘We have four sitting days before the House rises.
‘I really want us to behave safely, responsibly, during these few days.
‘None of us wants to risk taking Covid back to our families, staff or constituents and I’m sure we will want everyone working on the estate to feel safe and secure, and to ensure the business of this House continues.
‘I’ve got to say we’ve certainly got a large number of people that have been contacted so I’m very worried about the outcome.
‘Four days to go, I want us all to have a good break and enjoy our holidays so hopefully we will take it seriously and not push the limits for the sake of it.’
Most MPs in the sparsely attended chamber were wearing masks at the start of Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government questions.