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HMCTS issues guidance for courts and tribunals users during coronavirus outbreak

HM Courts and Tribunals Service has today (13 March) issued guidance for all court and tribunal users during the coronavirus outbreak.

The guidance, which can be viewed here, covers:

  • HMCTS coronavirus preparation planning;
  • Coming to court or tribunal during the coronavirus outbreak;
  • Hygiene in courts and tribunal buildings;
  • How HMCTS will update users about the impact of coronavirus on courts and tribunals;
  • Video hearings during the coronavirus outbreak;
  • HMCTS priorities during the coronavirus outbreak.

The guidance says that during the current phase of the outbreak, the business of the courts and tribunals continues. Any changes to individual hearings will be communicated directly to those affected in the usual way.

Amongst other things, it calls on all users to read the latest information about prevention, treatment and travel.

The guidance says: “As long as you, or a member of your party, do not have confirmed or possible coronavirus (COVID-19) infection, you should continue to use courts and tribunals as usual.....

“However, if you, or a member of your party, do have confirmed or possible coronavirus (COVID-19) infection, you should contact the court or tribunal in which the hearing is due to take place.”

HMCTS adds that it has “strong business continuity plans to ensure we can respond to and continue our work in extraordinary circumstances, including public health outbreaks.

“This includes a flexible system – and a flexible workforce – designed to ensure that access to justice can be maintained throughout the most challenge of times.”

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