Masks now mandatory during Croatian parliamentary sessions

The Croatian government has made wearing of face masks mandatory during parliament sessions due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to the decision taken on Tuesday, if anyone refuses the Speaker of Parliament will ask the member to leave the hall, and disobeying the rule will induce a warning and forced eviction by security staff, reports Xinhua news agency.

It was also decided that during Parliament sessions, there will be a smaller number of MPs in the main hall, a maximum of 41 out of the total of 151 seats, and voting will take place in other halls.

The ruling Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) will be entitled to have 16 MPs present, the Social Democratic Party (SDP) nine, the Homeland Movement three, the Bridge Party and the green-left bloc two each, and the other groups one each.

After Tuesday’s session of the parliamentary presidency, Speaker Gordan Jandrokovic told reporters that electronic voting would be possible, which would enable MPs who are ill or in self-isolation to vote.

The ruling HDZ won the most seats in the parliamentary elections on July 5.

After the summer break, Parliament will reconvene on Wednesday.

The adoption of the Law on the Reconstruction of Zagreb after the earthquake will be a priority of the first session.

According to the Croatian Institute of Public Health, the total number of coronavirus cases stood at 10,414 since late February when the outbreak hit the country.