People should come to court as usual unless they or a member of their party has or potentially has the coronavirus, HM Courts & Tribunals said today.
Publishing updated rolling guidance, HMCTS said that during the coronavirus outbreak 'the business of our courts and tribunals continues'. However, should a member of a party have the virus, they should contact the court or tribunal where the hearing was due to take place.
The guidance states that judges can consider audio or video links in certain circumstances, such as when a defendant does not need to attend an application to appeal bail refusal in person, or in preliminary and enforcement hearings.
Following several reports of filthy toilet facilities, which prompted the victims' commissioner for London to intervene, HMCTS said its buildings are cleaned every day and it will ‘respond swiftly’ to complaints about poor hygiene.
The guidance says: 'We know how important it is for all court users – professional and public – to have confidence that they are using a building that is clean and safe. NHS advice is for people to wash their hands with soap and water, which is available in all courts and tribunals. Given the importance of handwashing at the moment, our cleaners will give extra attention to checking bathrooms and handwashing facilities.
'We recently changed our security policy to allow people to also bring hand sanitiser into our buildings - our security officers will ask you to use it to prove it’s not harmful.'
The Law Society is keeping the coronavirus situation under review and monitoring the advice it receives from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and Public Health England.
Find advice and updates here.
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