Parliament has decided not to allow the media to set up make-shift studios in the house to cover the 2020 mid-year budget review.
The budget-review is scheduled for tomorrow, Thursday, July 23, 2020.
According to information from the Public Affairs Department of Parliament, the directive is in line with COVID-19 protocols put in place by the House.
Journalists and media houses as part of activities to enhance their coverage of major happenings in parliament such as the reading of the national budgets are allowed on such special occasions to set up makeshift studios in the foyer of the parliamentary chamber.
However, the House believes such an arrangement cannot be granted due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Following the announcement of the first two cases of COVID-19 in Ghana on March 12, 2020, parliament introduced a number of measures aimed at reducing the risk of infection in the house.
Amongst the measures taken are the closure of the public gallery, introduction of sanitary material at vantage areas in the House and a mass testing programme introduced for legislators, parliamentary staff and members of the parliamentary press corps.
The Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Aaron Mike Oquaye in addressing the house on Wednesday said all name tags on seats in the chamber will be removed for free-seating of MPs.
He said this is in a bid to ensure social distancing and MPs who do not find space within the chamber are free to observe proceedings on TV in their offices or from the public gallery.
“The will be free-seating in the chamber. All name tags will be removed for tomorrow. Members may only sit on alternative seats such that there may be empty seats between two members,” he said.
He added that visiting members of the public remain banned from the chamber and are encouraged to follow the proceedings in the mass media.
“The protocol that debars visitors to parliament remains in force. The public gallery will not be open to the public,” he noted.
While indicating that social distancing should be observed within the press gallery, he said the House will not countenance crowding or any form of gathering against the COVDI-19 protocols.