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Coronavirus: House votes to work from Philoxenia conference centre

The Philoxenia conference centre in Nicosia

By unanimous vote parliament on Thursday passed a decision, the upshot of which is that legislative business will be conducted at Nicosia’s Philoxenia conference centre due to the Covid-19 situation.

Both the plenum and parliamentary committees will be taking place at the Philoxenia, until further notice.

By the decision, the House President is authorised to designate a location other than the parliament building for the carrying out of legislative business.

The parliament building in the centre of Nicosia had been inspected and the plenum hall found to be wanting in terms of ventilation and spacing requirements under the coronavirus-related guidelines.

The next session of the plenum, scheduled for Tuesday May 19, will be held at the more spacious Philoxenia.

During the extraordinary measures in place since March, parliamentarians have held some 70 teleconference sessions.

With the further easing of restrictions coming next week, it was decided that all MPs may be physically present in one place, provided that the prescribed distancing rules are adhered to.

A memo prepared for MPs addressing the matter of the – presumably temporary – move provided four alternative locations, one of which was the Philoxenia.

According to the same memo, each plenary session at the conference centre will cost €1,500. Committee sessions are costed at €5,000 a week.

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