Nurses will be stationed at all Parliament House entrances taking temperatures and the number of staff working in the building will be vastly reduced as part of ramped up COVID-19 measures to allow the people's house to resume on Monday.
After consultation with chief medical officer Paul Kelly, the presiding officers, the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate, have issued a statement ordering that "only genuinely and absolutely essential staff" physically attend the next parliamentary sitting fortnight.
This includes the offices of members, senators, office holders, ministers and parliamentary departments.
The statement says Parliament should continue its essential work while reducing the risk of COVID-19 transmission so, "where work can be undertaken from home it should be done so".
From Monday, nurses will undertake temperature testing at all Parliament House entrances. Anyone with Covid symptoms are being reminded to remain at home and follow ACT Health advice.
And those attending the building as essential workers are being asked to check for official ACT government COVID-19 updates, including exposure sites lists, prior to arrival and throughout the day.
The presiding officers say entry to the building will be taken as confirmation that a worker has fully complied with their advice.
While not sitting this week, and being closed to the public as part of a building lockdown, Parliament has been operating with significantly reduced staffing levels as an essential workplace.
Out of concern that a sitting period could turn into a COVID-19 super-spreader event, the measures imposed on the building pre-date the ACT lockdown and have been more strict than required under ACT guidelines.
ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr had asked that parliament not sit, given the territory's growing number of cases and lockdown.
"My preference would be that they don't, unless they absolutely had to. And if they did, it would need to be very minimal sitting and absolutely Covid-safe," he said earlier this week.
"But my starting point would be now is probably not the time for the Federal Parliament to return."