Do not approach the Auckland MPs.
Few are more diligent about enforcing the Prime Minister's Covid edicts than the Speaker, and so he issued orders to ensure Auckland MPs returning to Wellington could remain in their level 2 bubbles while everyone around them swung about at level 1.
Journalists in the Press Gallery, staff and party whips were all told that nobody could get within 2m of the MPs from Auckland.
Rather unsurprisingly, this rather farcical situation caused some logistical and enforcement problems. One MP joked she needed a leper's bell as she moved about.
The Speaker managed to stop himself prowling the grounds with a 2m ruler like a high school dance monitor – but the enforcement must have been energy sapping, judging from his fractiousness in Parliament later.
There, the Auckland MPs sat in small pools of solitude, the seats on either side of them empty while their regional colleagues sat smugly elbow to elbow, ostentatiously sharing from the lolly jar.
It was a big day for Parliament: the first time a new system was used to allow a minister to be questioned on a topic after making a ministerial statement.
That was going swimmingly, largely due to the constructive natures of Covid-19 Minister Chris Hipkins, and National's spokesman Chris Bishop.
Alas, the Speaker ruined this first by booting out National MP Nick Smith under little provocation after Smith yelled out "he's making it up".
Act leader David Seymour, an Aucklander, then decided to pick a fight perhaps disgruntled about being cast back into solitude after relishing the company of caucus bench mates for the first time.
He bickered about a rule, and then bickered about whether the Speaker had himself broken a rule by telling Seymour he didn't have a case because he'd missed the meeting at which the rule was discussed.
Seymour interrupted again and again, a simmering little pool of revolution.
The Speaker bickered back, and Seymour said Mallard's arguments were "superfluous and irrelevant." Mallard returned serve, saying he was not responsible for Seymour's "ignorance".
National Party MP Simon Bridges then also chimed in, apparently unable to resist the joy of riling up his old nemesis, the Speaker.
He did not get far. The Speaker sent him out the door after half a sentence.
The last time Parliament sat, it was Paul Goldsmith who was turfed out by the Speaker, and Bridges left in solidarity with him huffing that Mallard was "a twat" as he went.
Goldsmith did not return the loyalty: he sat still as his mate headed out the door.
A charitable soul could put this apparent spinelessness down to the concern that Goldsmith would have had to squash past Tim van de Molen and breach a non-Auckland MP's clean zone to make it out.
Perhaps by way of penance for his churlishness, the Speaker ended Question Time with something of a gift for National: halting Chris Hipkins' attempt to give Housing Minister Megan Woods a chance to have a go at the former National Government's record on housing.
Mallard ruled Hipkins' question out, saying he had been a bit liberal about Government ministers "doing donkey drops on previous governments."