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COVID-19 proceedings: Timeline of temporary arrangements

Temporary arrangements are currently in place until 21 June 2021 to ensure that proceedings in the House of Commons Chamber comply with public health guidelines relating to the coronavirus pandemic and that social distancing measures are in place.

Timeline of temporary arrangements

  • 21 April 2020 - MPs can participate in oral questions, urgent questions and ministerial statements under temporary arrangements for hybrid proceedings (originally effective until 12 May 2020).
  • 22 April 2020 - MPs can also participate in a range of substantive business under temporary arrangements for hybrid proceedings (originally effective until 12 May 2020).
  • 12 May 2020 - Temporary arrangements for hybrid proceedings extended until 20 May 2020.
  • 20 May 2020 - Temporary arrangements for hybrid proccedings lapse ahead of Whitsun recess.
  • 2 June 2020 - MPs return to Westminster following the Whitsun recess to take part in proceedings in the Chamber with social distancing measures in place, in line with public health guidance.
  • 4 June 2020 - Some MPs can take part in some proceedings remotely (oral questions, urgent questions and ministerial statements). Remote participation extends only to MPs who have self-certified as unable to attend Westminster for medical or public health reasons related to the pandemic (originally effective from 8 June until 7 July 2020).
  • 10 June 2020 - Proxy voting scheme extended to include MPs who have self-certified as unable to attend Westminster for medical or public health reasons related to the pandemic.
  • 1 July 2020 - Temporary arrangements agreed on 2 and 4 June 2020 extended until 2 September 2020.
  • 5 October 2020- 14 January 2021 - Debates in Westminster Hall resume, although MPs are only able to participate in proceedings if physically present and following social distancing guidelines. 
  • 2 September 2020 - Temporary arrangements agreed on 2 and 4 June 2020 extended until 3 November 2020.
  • 22 October 2020 - Temporary arrangements agreed on 2 and 4 June 2020 extended until 30 March 2021.
  • 3 November 2020 - Proxy voting scheme exended to include all MPs during the Covid-19 pandemic until 30 March 2020.
  • 30 December 2020 - Temporary arrangements agreed on 2 and 4 June 2020 amended to enable all MPs to participate in proceedings remotely. Such proceedings include oral questions, urgent questions and ministerial statements, debates and presentation of petitions in the Chamber.
  • 13 January 2021 - Sitting Fridays are suspended until further notice.
  • 25 February 2021 - The House of Commons agree to resume Westminster Hall debates from Monday 8 March 2021, enabling MPs to particpate either physically or virtually.
  • 12 March 2021 - First sitting Friday goes ahead in hybrid form, enabling MPs to participate either physically or vitually.
  • 25 March 2021 - Temporary arrangements agreed to enable MPs to participate virtually in proceedings (2 and 4 June 2020), to apply the proxy voting shceme to all MPs during the pandemic (3 November 2020), and to facilitate sittings in Westminster Hall during the pandemic (25 February 2021) extended until 21 June 2021.

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