Coronavirus: test MPs for Covid-19 every day, says president

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British Parliament / Jessica Taylor

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Crowded scenes like the Brexit vote could return with regular testing, the president suggested


MPs could be tested for coronavirus daily to allow them to safely fill the House of Commons chamber, the Speaker suggested.

Sir Lindsay Hoyle told Times Radio he had spoken to the NHS and the government about the possibility of getting “a rapid rotation of tests” to allow more MPs to enter.

But the President said he would “not compromise health and safety”.

MPs wearing masks have been excluded because it might be more difficult for them to be recognized and make speeches, he said.

The pandemic has brought about some of the most significant changes in parliamentary procedure in centuries, with limited numbers allowed in both chambers so MPs can stand two meters apart.

But some MPs criticized the subdued atmosphere with so many working remotely.

And after Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg dropped remote voting, there were long lines to vote on motions and amendments because it is not considered safe for MPs to rushing into traditional voting lobbies at the same time.

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British Parliament / Jessica Taylor

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Masks for MPs ‘really wouldn’t work,’ Sir Lindsay Hoyle said in supporting daily testing


Asked about the prospect of regularly testing MPs so that more of them can safely enter the House of Commons, Mr Hoyle said: ‘To be completely honest with you, I would like to do this daily, not every week. The problem is that weekly tests are not necessary. Don’t tell you anything. ”

He said he had “approached” the NHS and the government to ask, “Why can’t we have a testing system? “

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They would need “a quick round of testing” and House of Commons authorities “were reviewing” it.

Sir Lindsay said he agreed with Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg that masks for MPs “really wouldn’t work” as it would be more difficult to recognize who was speaking and more difficult to be heard.

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British Parliament / Jessica Taylor

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Social distancing has made the House of Commons a much quieter place


Asked about reports that Prime Minister Boris Johnson wanted to see Parliament ‘back to normal’ by Christmas, the President said he wanted to get there, but said he would not risk health and safety. security.

“We are a Covid-safe workplace – if we lose this status, the game is over,” he said.

“It’s about working efficiently. If people don’t need to be here, why would we have them here? “

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