Washington: Face masks will be mandatory on the floor of the Democrat-controlled US House of Representatives, said Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
“Members and staff will be required to wear masks at all times in the hall of the House except that members may remove their masks temporarily when recognized,” The Hill news website quoted Pelosi as saying on Wednesday from the House floor.
The veteran Democrat warned that lawmakers and staff without masks will not be permitted to enter the House chamber and risk removal by the Sergeant at Arms if they do not comply.
Pelosi said that the requirement of a mask was “a sign of respect for the health, safety and well-being of others present in the chamber and surrounding areas”.
the Speaker’s announcement came hourst after Republican Congressman Louie Gohmert, who was spotted on the House floor in recent weeks without a mask while mingling with colleagues, tested positive for COVID-19, said The Hill news report.
On Tuesday, Gohmert did not wear a mask while outside a House Judiciary Committee hearing room.
He also initially did not have a mask on while inside the hearing room.