Parliamentary Chamber. (Image: Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago)

The Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago has implemented more stringent measures to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 among staff and Parliamentarians, alike.

In an official statement issued today, the Parliament Secretariat announced several social distancing measures including, among others: new seating arrangements for Parliamentarians, the wearing of face masks, limits on the numbers of media personnel allowed in the premises to cover Parliamentary proceedings, and no more access to the precincts by the general public.

The following is the full text of the statement from the Parliament Secretariat on the new measures.

COVID 19 MEASURES IMPLEMENTED AT THE PARLIAMENT

Dear media colleagues,

As you are aware, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has forced both local and international bodies to implement certain restrictions to ensure staff and members of the public face as little exposure to this dreaded virus as possible. The Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago is not exempt and as such has decided to put the following measures in place for the good of all who access our precincts.

1. Social distancing measures for Members of Parliament: some Members will be seated in the Chambers while others will be seated in meeting rooms throughout the Parliamentary Complex with access to television screens to view the proceedings. If a vote is called for, those Members not seated in the Chamber will be allowed a few minutes to get to the Chamber where they will cast their vote then return to their meeting rooms.

2. The number of media personnel allowed in the Media Galleries will be limited to five (5).

3. Members of the media will be required to wear a face mask at all times while at the Parliamentary Complex.

4. Face masks should be of a dark colour that will not cause any distraction.

5. Members of the public are now asked to tune in to sittings and committee meetings on the Parliament Channel, Parliament Radio 105.5 FM or via our YouTube Channel, ParlView as access to the Parliamentary precincts will not be granted to the public at this time.

We do regret any inconvenience that will be caused by these decisions and trust that you will continue to work with us to ensure the safety of all concerned.