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Keep it covered: Commission urges passholders to wear face coverings

6 October 2020


  • The Speaker, in the Chair
  • Jacob Rees-Mogg
  • Valerie Vaz
  • Sir Charles Walker
  • Dame Rosie Winterton
  • Pete Wishart
  • Dr John Benger (Clerk of the House)


  • Ian Ailles (Director General)
  • Jane McCall (External member)
  • Dr Rima Makarem (External member)

Passholders are being strongly advised to wear face coverings – after a small number of cases of Covid-19 have emerged on the parliamentary estate.

MPs and staff will be expected to cover their nose and mouth when moving between buildings, in places where social distancing is difficult and when queuing to buy food and drink in catering outlets.

The decision was made by the House of Commons Commission on advice from Public Health England in a special meeting to discuss further measures needed to maintain the estate’s Covid-secure status.

Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle, who also chairs the Commission, said: “Just as we have all had to wear them in supermarkets and on public transport, it makes sense that we should also wear them as we move around the parliamentary estate.

“This is particularly important when social distancing is difficult, when walking from one building to another, and when queuing to buy food and drink in catering outlets.

“It’s all our responsibility to keep each other safe, whether it be wearing a mask, keeping socially distanced – even keeping our desks clean. After all, we are all in this together.

“These are simple measures we can all take to keep the House functioning in the safest way possible, which is an important part of the Commission’s responsibilities.”

Staff and MPs are not expected to wear face coverings in meetings or when working in their office.

While Members are not expected to wear face coverings in the Chamber - they are advised to wear them in the lobbies during a division.

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