The public gallery of Parliament will not be opened on Thursday, July 23, when Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, would be expected to present to the House, the government’s Midyear Budget statement.
According to an order by the Speaker, Prof. Aaron Mike Oquaye, to members of the House, this is to make enough space for physical distancing between Members of Parliament in respect of the COVID-19 protocols.
The order dated Wednesday, July 22, 2020, also barres media representatives who are not members of the regular Parliamentary Press Corps, from entering the premises to cover the event.
Journalists as well as members of the public who would want to follow the event, would have to either obtain the information from the regular press corps or monitor the live proceedings via television or radio.
The communication further states: “Hon. Members of Parliament may note that there will be free sitting in the Chamber. Members may not only seat on alternative seats such that there will be an empty seat between every two Members seated.”
“Accordingly, there will be no name tags,” the Speaker directed the House in a ‘Special Announcement communicated to the Parliamentarians.
Therefore, MPs who may not find seats in the Chamber would have to monitor proceedings from their offices or take up seats in the public gallery, which is to be made available only to them on the day.