COVID-19 Hybrid proceedings in the House of Commons

Image of Members' Lobby with social distancing sign

Hybrid proceedings mean that all MPs are able to participate in House of Commons proceedings either physically in the Chamber or remotely via video-link.

Temporary arrangements to enable hybrid proceedings in the House of Commons were agreed by the House of Commons on 21 and 22 April 2020. They were extended on 12 May and had effect until 20 May 2020.

They allow parliamentary business in the House of Commons to operate differently during the COVID-19 pandemic. During this time, the House of Commons will met only on Mondays (from 2.30pm), Tuesdays (from 11.30am) and Wednesdays (from 11.30am). 

Physical participation - when an MP is physically in the Chamber to speak. Up to 50 Members will be permitted in the Chamber at once, and all must observe social distancing measures.

Virtual participation - when an MP is not physically present in the Chamber but participates remotely via video-link. Up to 120 MPs may participate in this way at any one time. All MPs joining proceedings virtually will be on a call list. MPs who are not listed on the call list should watch proceedings on Parliament TV.

All MPs should also follow guidance on the courtesies and rules of the House, such as abiding by a formal dress code.  

What types of business can take place under hybrid proceedings?

The temporary arrangements that came into force in the House of Commons on 21 and 22 April 2020 mean that only certain types of business may take place.

The types of business conducted as hybrid proceedings in the House of Commons are:

 

Departmental questions and Prime Minister's Questions

View of the despatch box, House of Commons

Under COVID-19 hybrid proceedings, MPs may continue to scrutinise the government through oral question time.

Urgent questions

View of the Commons Chamber with screens for MPs participating virtually

Urgent questions provide an opportunity for MPs to ask a government minister for a response on an issue that requires an immediate reply. These may still take place under COVID-19 hybrid proceedings.

Ministerial statements

The government uses statements to announce significant policy developments, provide updates, and respond to events. These may still place under COVID-19 hybrid proceedings.

Legislation

Legisaltion deifnition-laws, written, parliament

Legislation is one of the key types of parliamentary business that can take place under temporary arrangements for hybrid proceedings.

Other substantive proceedings

Sign in Members Lobby demonstrating social distancing - people must be 2metres apart

As well as legislation, the temporary arrangements for hybrid proceedings allow for other types of business to take place in the House of Commons.

Remote voting

Image looking through doors into the House of Commons Chamber

Under the temporary hybrid proceedings, all divisions will be remote divisions.

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