All courts and tribunals in England will offer home test kits for Covid-19 from early next month while on-site test centres will close, the Ministry of Justice has said.

Professional court users, legal professionals, judiciary, contractors, jurors, witness services and staff who attend scheduled hearings will be able to pick up rapid test kits from court collection points. The tests, which are taken at home and yield a result within thirty minutes, are currently on order and due to be distributed across the entire English court estate from mid-April and available for court users in early May.

A lateral flow test showing a positive Covid result

Existing on-site test centres will be replaced by home-test collection points

Source: Thrive Images/Alamy Stock Photo

The on-site test centres at Manchester Civil Justice Centre, Southwark Crown Court, Leeds Combined Court, Leicester Crown Court, Reading Crown Court, Winchester Combined Court and Northampton County Court Business Centre will close and be replaced by home-test kit collection points by the end of April.

In Wales, home tests are expected to be available at courts and tribunals by mid-May. In the meantime, the government advised anyone with coronavirus symptoms to book a full PCR test through the government website. 

HMCTS has also announced that Preston North End Football Club has been converted into a make-shift court, providing extra capacity for non-custodial Crown cases in the North West. Thirty Nightingale courts are now in operation, including stadiums, hotels, universities, theatres, cathedrals and former court buildings.