There should be an empty seat between every two MPs on Thursday when Finance Minister presents the mid-year budget statement in Parliament, the Speaker Aaron Mike Oquaye has directed.

This means only about half of the 275 lawmakers would be seated in the plenary for the annual event.

The rest of the MPs, Prof. Oquaye said can either sit in the public gallery or monitor proceedings from theirs offices via TV, the Speaker added.

The directive comes as part of efforts to ensure there’s proper social distancing in the House during the Mid-year budget review, an event that usually draws a full house.

MPs will be allowed to get in on first come, first served basis, JoyNews’ Joseph Opoku-Gakpo reported from the House.

Also, the public gallery would remain closed to the public, as has been since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in Ghana.

Members of the press would also have limited access to the chamber.

According to the Speaker, only the usual parliamentary press corps will be allowed into the chamber.

All other media personnel can get their news from them or follow the lives broadcast on private and state broadcasters, Prof. Oquaye noted.

Only 25 journalists will be allowed to the press gallery.

As Mr. Ofori-Atta presents the budget statement, it is expected he would go heavy on Covid-19 relief packages as the pandemic has affected every aspect of economic life in the country.