Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaks to the media in Sydney, Sunday, March 15, 2020. (AAP Image/Joel Carrett) NO ARCHIVING
Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaks to the media in Sydney, Sunday, March 15, 2020. (AAP Image/Joel Carrett) NO ARCHIVING

MPs barred from parliament due to virus

Dozens of federal MPs will be banned from entering parliament next week, as Scott Morrison caps the number of people allowed in the building at any one time.

Sky News Political Editor Andrew Clennell has exclusively revealed that only 90 of the 151 MPs will return to the House of Representatives on Monday, and the PM attempts to limit the spread of coronavirus.

Mr Clennell reports the Prime Minister rang Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese this morning to negotiate the deal that will mean only 30 pairs of votes are required to pass essential legislation, such as the upcoming economic stimulus package.

Parliament is due to resume on Monday for its final scheduled sitting before the May budget.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton and LNP senator Susan McDonald have both been struck down with coronavirus as it spreads across the country.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaks to the media in Sydney, Sunday, March 15, 2020. (AAP Image/Joel Carrett) NO ARCHIVING
Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaks to the media in Sydney, Sunday, March 15, 2020. (AAP Image/Joel Carrett) NO ARCHIVING

A scheduled parliamentary sitting normally brings thousands of politicians, staff, lobbyists and visitors from around Australia to Canberra. But the experience at Parliament House from Monday will be quite different amid medical advice that people should practice social distancing to slow the spread of the virus.

Speaker of the House Tony Smith and Senate President Scott Ryan have already cancelled school visits, urged politicians to scale down the number of staff they bring with them and banned a range of pass-holders including lobbyists.

The Senate has a standing deal to grant leave to five senators from each side, but it's up to the whips and business managers of each major party to decide whether to expand this.

It's understood the government is yet to put a proposal regarding Senate arrangements to Labor.

- with AAP



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