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House of Commons Commission

Volume 697: debated on Thursday 17 June 2021

The hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the House of Commons Commission, was asked—

Covid-19: Ongoing Protection for Staff

The House of Commons Commission will continue to ensure that all necessary measures are in place to protect everyone in the parliamentary community from the risk of covid. The specific measures to be retained or implemented will be informed by the current Government guidance in place at the time, public health advice received and the parliamentary covid risk assessment. The covid risk assessment has been continuously updated in the past year to reflect the changing position, and will continue to be so as long as covid poses a risk to the health and wellbeing of our community. At its meeting on Monday 8 March, the House of Commons Commission agreed that the House makes all necessary arrangements to ensure the resilience of business and the safety of all passholders in relation to covid through to March 2022.

Will my hon. Friend please pass on my thanks, and I am sure those of all Members, to all staff who continue to work through the pandemic in this place? Will a review take place into the procedures used, so they can be improved to protect against the threat of disease in future?

I will certainly pass on my hon. Friend’s thanks to all staff who have worked in the House of Commons during the past difficult 15 months. I think I speak for everyone when I say they have done a simply outstanding job. Learning lessons from our response has been a key priority throughout this time. It has allowed us to refine and improve our response as time has progressed. The House service, through the business resilience group, will ensure planning is conducted to prepare for a range of public health emergencies, alongside identifying and mitigating against a number of other novel risks if they occur.