Coronavirus: Tynwald to sit remotely during pandemic

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Isle of Man Parliamentary BuildingsImage source, MANX SCENES
Image caption,
Tynwald members will vote and debate via audio conferencing

The world's oldest continuously sitting parliament is to go digital for the first time because of coronavirus.

Regular Tynwald sessions have been held recently to formally approve the emergency coronavirus laws that were introduced by the Manx government.

Members complied with social distancing rules but from Friday will debate and vote on measures over audio link.

The move will also "enable people who are self-isolating to take part", a Tynwald spokesman said.

A trial run of the digital arrangements was conducted on Thursday afternoon.

Changes have been made to the way votes take place to accommodate the new set-up.

Members will only be asked to register any opposition to motions.

If only one registers his or her disagreement, members will then be asked to vote using the messaging service within the audio tool.

Audio from the sitting will be broadcast via the Tynwald website as usual.

Meanwhile, changes have already been announced to Tynwald Day, the Isle of Man's national day, on 6 July.

While public events will not go ahead, arrangements were being made "to maintain those functions deemed essential", a spokesman said.

The ceremony features some key legislative functions including the promulgation of acts, the presentation of petitions and the swearing in of coroners.

Tynwald claims to be the world's oldest continuously sitting parliament.

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