In an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19, Sri Lanka’s health authorities said on Monday that face masks will be mandatory in the new Parliament following Wednesday’s general elections.
A 21-page operation guideline report was handed over by Director General of Health Services Anil Jasinghe to Secretary General of Parliament Dhammika Dasanayake, which includes many of the general health regulations pertaining to COVID-19.
According to the guidelines in the report, newly-elected parliamentarians will be required to wear face masks.
They are discouraged from shaking hands, hugging, or greeting each other in a manner in which they come into physical contact, and they should adopt other forms of greeting instead.
MPs will also be encouraged to sit in the designated seat and maintain social distancing when they interact inside Parliament premises. sanitizers will be kept at every entrance in the chamber, and legislators and officials will be required to wash their hands before entering.
Temperature checks will be carried out at the entrance of the building.
Local media quoting parliamentary officials said that on the first sitting day of the new parliament, all 225 legislators will be required to attend, as the election of a new Speaker and the swearing-in of the newly-elected MPs will take place.
Thereafter, Parliament will discuss if it is feasible to move towards virtual meetings except on days when a vote is due, the officials said.