Joint statement by the Presiding Officers on building operations at the Australian Parliament House

Issue date: Friday, 29 October 2021

Following our ongoing discussions with Commonwealth and ACT health officials the following temporary and precautionary changes are in place at Parliament House.

Parliament House will remain closed to the public until after the final sitting fortnight which will run from 22 November to 3 December. Measures to ensure the Commonwealth Parliament can continue its essential work while reducing the risk of COVID-19 transmission will be confirmed prior to that sitting period commencing.

Changes to the ACT Government’s COVID restrictions will however allow a cautious easing of the measures in place at Parliament House for the next three non-sitting weeks only, commencing from 1 November.

The measures include:

  • Staff who have been working remotely can commence a gradual return to the building where it suits employees and employers, and in accordance with the Public Health Direction
  • Access to the building for non-occupants is limited and only for essential business purposes
  • Health and Recreation Centre, courts and playing fields will reopen, consistent with ACT Government restrictions
  • The Parliament Shop will reopen
  • Chairs and tables will return for seated dining consistent with the ACT’s COVID restrictions
  • Queen’s Terrace Café, House of Representatives Coffee Cart and Members and Guests Dining Room will be closed
  • Take home meals are still available – through In-Room Dining, and Staff Dining Room
  • Meals delivered through In-Room Dining will be via contactless delivery
  • All DPS operated food outlets will remain cashless
  • Reusable (keep) cups will not be accepted during this period.

All those entering the building must check the ACT Government COVID-19 website and exposure sites updates prior to attending Parliament House.

Anybody with any symptoms consistent with COVID-19 must not enter the building. They must remain at home and follow ACT Health advice.

Entry to the building will be taken as confirmation that you fully comply with the above and have not been at an exposure site, you do not have symptoms and have complied with ACT Health orders.

These measures will be in place from 1 November to 5pm on 19 November.

Wearing of face masks within workplaces, including Parliament House, remains mandatory in the ACT.

Important safeguards

All building occupants are reminded to:

  • Continue to follow strict COVID-safe hygiene and physical distancing requirements 
  • Use the masks and sanitiser that are available throughout the building for your use
  • Do not attend the building if you are feeling unwell
  • Use the Check-in CBR app to register attendance where posted around the building.

ACT exposure sites

The ACT Government updates a list of exposure sites on its website each day. Please check this frequently.

If you have been to any of these locations at the dates and times specified, please follow the ACT Health advice. 

Testing locations in the ACT can be found here.

Reporting processes

It is important that suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 at APH are managed in a systematic and timely manner.

The notification process has been developed to assist you in reporting cases of COVID-19.

Step 1: Report to local health authorities

If you or someone in your team has symptoms of COVID-19, or you have had close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19, notify local health authorities immediately. For further information on COVID-19 please visit Health Direct or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Line 1800 020 080, which operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

Step 2: Report to your local organisation / employer

It is important you report through your own organisation’s COVID-19 notification process as detailed in previous building communications.

Your organisation / employer will organise cleaning of the affected areas and advise DPS of the case through For further information on this process please contact your nominated contact officer. 

Further and more specific advice will be sent to building occupants as it becomes available.