PATRIOTIC politicians must take Covid tests and may have to self-isolate to protect the Queen at next month’s State Opening of Parliament.
HOAR can reveal parliamentary bosses have been working on a battle plan to overhaul the 500 year-old tradition because of the pandemic.
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Insiders said that, like Prince Philip’s funeral, the event will be “pared back” to comply with restrictions.
Most MPs and peers are expected to be barred from the ceremony on May 17 so strict social distancing rules can be stuck to.
Those who do get a much-coveted invite – including Boris Johnson and Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle – will need a negative lateral flow test to attend.
While those who come in closest contact with the Queen could have to self-isolate for 36 hours before.
These include government whips Stuart Andrew and Marcus Jones – who have formal roles in the proceedings.
‘MASSIVELY PARED BACK’
But the self-isolation plans are said to have sparked a furious row, with some involved complaining the stipulation is overkill.
One insider told HOAR: “It will be a massively pared back ceremony.
“But the self-isolation idea has sparked some kickback.”
The glitzy service is the most important day in the parliamentary calendar, and usually full of pomp and ceremony.
The Queen travels to Parliament in a horse-drawn carriage and then reads the Queen’s Speech, which sets out the proposed laws for the next 12 months.
Usually, hundreds of MPs and peers pack into the House of Lords to watch the Queen deliver the address from a gold-encrusted throne.
But this year, most politicians are expected to be told they cannot attend so social distancing rules can be stuck to.
Crunch talks will take place this week to thrash out the details.
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