COVID-19: Parliament to enforce restriction on movement of visitors from March 11

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New Delhi: In the wake of coronavirus outbreak, movement of visitors and their entry to Parliament will be restricted when it reassembles after Holi on March 11.

Now MPs from both houses will not be able to meet their visitors inside the Parliament. Neither would they be able to take their visitors on the tour of the parliament house when parliament would resume on Wednesday after Holi break.

In the directions issued to both houses, the movement of the visitors is likely to witness strict restrictions over the inflow and movement. This has been done keeping in mind the security of the members of the parliament against ‘deadly’ Coronavirus. For those coming to meet the MPs at the reception would be allowed to stay only for one hour and this restriction should be strictly adhered to, informed a source.

In wake of several advisories issued by the ministry of health and Family welfare regarding precautions to be taken against the deadly novel coronavirus, steps are being taken to prevent the spread of infection among public and MPs.

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“These measures should include hand and respiratory hygiene must be practised. Large gathering within the precincts of Parliament House Estate may be avoided. Visitors other than those, which are essential for official/operational reasons, maybe strictly restricted,” stated the directions that have come to the offices of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha and circulated to the office of every political party having its office inside the premises.

To reduce overcrowding in the parliament where scores of visitors throng the premises in wake of coronavirus and also to ensure the security of the MPs, the Lok Sabha has issued a circular to keep the visitors away from parliamentary party offices. For this specific purpose, the passes too have been colour-coded.

“The Public Gallery pass which is for visitors to watch the proceedings of the house will be of white colour and these visitors are not permitted in any other area of the parliament. The security personnel have been directed to ensure the exit of the visitors form the building soon after the proceedings are over,” reads the directions issued.

The circular further states, “The casual visitors will have a blue colour pass. These are people visiting party offices and MPs and would be issued a pass only for outer precincts of the parliament house and in non-restricted areas only. These visitors are not permitted to enter through building gates of parliament house. The MPs are requested to meet them at outer precincts or at the reception.”

As for those who have an appointment with the chairman, Rajya Sabha, Lok Sabha, secretary-general, Speaker, Prime Minister, Deputy speakers, ministers and ministry of parliamentary affairs shall be issued passes to their respective offices and permitted through authorised gates. This pass would be Red in colour.

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