WINNIPEG -- Winnipeg's council building at City Hall will temporarily close to the public after a special council meeting this Friday.

The city announced the closure on Thursday, adding that the Susan A. Thompson Building will remain open so people can access the 311 front counter.

The council building will close following a special City Council meeting that has been convened for Friday in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The meeting will cover a report from the Public Service on options for the deferral of property and business taxes, a motion to declare a State of Local Emergency for the City of Winnipeg, and a motion to hold meeting of Council through means other than face-to-face for the next 120 days.

Bowman said currently by-laws don't allow council and committee meetings to be held remotely, and a change is required to make it possible.

People will still be allowed to register as delegations to speak at the council meeting, though only those registered to speak will be allowed inside City Hall.

People can watch the meetings online. Anyone who wants to register as a delegate should contact the City Clerks at 311 or by email. They must register by 4:30 p.m. Thursday.

People are reminded to not enter City Hall if they have flu-like symptoms or have travelled internationally or domestically in the past 14 days.