UK Parliament tightens its Covid-19 rules on surge in infections

LONDON (BLOOMBERG) – The UK Parliament tightened coronavirus rules amid a surge in cases, with tours and banquets cancelled for two weeks and MPs urged to wear masks.

Face coverings were made compulsory for staff, contractors and journalists last week, but Members of Parliament cannot be ordered to do so because they’re not employed by House of Commons authorities.

They were told Tuesday (Nov 2), however, that they are now expected to wear them across the estate.

While most opposition MPs have worn masks in the Commons chamber in recent weeks, many Conservatives have not.

“There have been recent increases in Covid-19 across the country and these are also being reflected in Parliament,” a parliamentary spokesman said in an emailed statement.

Chairs of committees were also asked to take a stronger role in ensuring mask-wearing and better social-distancing.

The move comes as the UK continues to record a high number of daily cases, with 40,077 reported on Monday, along with 40 deaths.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid told Parliament on Tuesday the pandemic is not over and people should get their vaccine booster shots when eligible.

“There will be more variants, so we all need to keep our guard,” he said.

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