MPs from across Australia will still converge on Canberra later this month, despite the rising number of COVID-19 cases in Victoria forcing the state into stage four lockdown.
Parliament is set to resume on August 24, after the first two sitting weeks of the month were cancelled due to medical advice that there was an increased risk of transmission of the virus, with growing cases in Victoria and NSW.
But despite Victoria now imposing a curfew on metropolitan Melbourne residents and forcing non-essential businesses to close their doors because of the high case numbers, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Parliament would still return.
"There has been a working group working with presiding officer, and the government has been contributing to that. I'll be providing further information and advice to them tomorrow," Mr Morrison said.
"Parliament will come back. It will meet. I always said it would meet. And I meant that when I said it," Mr Morrison said.
Mr Morrison said politicians would comply with advice received from the ACT chief health officer Kerryn Coleman. The federal government had also sought additional advice from the Commonwealth chief medical officer.
"Ultimately, the Commonwealth government will respond to the advice from the CMO, and they've been working closely together to ensure that the appropriate protections are put in place for any people who coming here from Victoria," Mr Morrison said.
"When we made the decision about Parliament not sitting when it was next scheduled to meet, there were a lot of uncertainties. We've got a clearer view now, and we know the situation has actually become even more serious, but we believe we can put arrangements in place.
"There are two issues here. Most importantly, public health. If you bring together over 200 people plus staff into one place from all around the country, then obviously you've got to be very careful about the onward transmission from infected parts of the country and how that could then potentially operate going out into other states.
"So we will have some very strict protocols around that, and seeking the full compliance of all members with that process. But it is important that Parliament continues to meet."
Acting chief medical officer Paul Kelly acknowledged there was a "risk" within the Parliament House building of transmission due to parliamentarians travelling from all over the country and back.
"But that risk can be mitigated and it will be mitigated," Professor Kelly said.
Dr Coleman has previously imposed strict conditions on federal MPs coming to the ACT from Victoria.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and two staffers were forced to follow 12 rules while in Canberra, including wearing face masks during social interactions of more than 15 minutes, keeping records of who they interact with, and remaining in their accommodation while not at work.
Chief Minister Andrew Barr previously said federal ministers from Victoria will be allowed into Canberra as essential workers, but not necessarily staffers and backbenchers.
"It would make sense for some Victorian backbenchers potentially from either side to pair each other and not have to come up to Canberra for the August sittings but we'll look at this on a case by case basis," Mr Barr said last month.
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