Australia's Parliament House lifts short-lived face veil ban

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Australia's Parliament House has lifted a ban imposed earlier this month on facial coverings including burqas and niqabs.

The government department that runs Parliament House announced on Oct. 2 that "persons with facial coverings" would no longer be allowed in the open public galleries of the House of Representatives or the Senate. They would be directed to galleries usually reserved for noisy school children where visitors sit behind sound-proof glass.

The announcement was made a few hours before the end of the final sitting day of Parliament's last two-week session and has no practical effect.

Hours before Parliament was to resume on Monday, the Department of Parliamentary Services said in a statement that people wearing face coverings would again be allowed in all public areas.