HM Courts & Tribunals Service has told court users with coronavirus symptoms not to come to court despite acknowledging that the law permits people in England to break self-isolation rules.
Health protection regulations which came into force in England last month state that people who test positive for Covid-19 or have had close contact with someone who has tested positive for the coronavirus after 28 September must self-isolate. A person can come out of self-isolation ‘to fulfil a legal obligation, including attending court or satisfying bail conditions, or participating in legal proceedings’.
However, in its latest operational update, HMCTS said no one should go to a court or tribunal building if they have coronavirus symptoms, if they have tested positive for Covid-19 or if the NHS has instructed them to self-isolate.
HMCTS says in its update: ‘Please contact the court or tribunal before you are due to attend so that suitable arrangements can be made for your hearing… While public health legislation allows those involved in legal proceedings to come out of self-isolation when necessary, you must consult with the court or tribunal first who will consider and decide on appropriate arrangements.’
*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.