Some Covid measures will remain in court buildings despite the removal of restrictions next week HM Courts & Tribunals Service confirmed today, saying that changes will be managed in a 'steady, careful way'.
Kevin Sadler, acting chief executive of HMCTS, said the court service is working with the judiciary to safely increase capacity, meaning the number of people in court buildings will ‘gradually increase’. This will happen alongside continued use of audio and video technology to enable remote attendance, he said.
While there will be only ‘minimal social distancing measures’ in courts, face coverings will still be required in staff, public and communal parts of court buildings. Screens and barriers will also remain in place and in custody suites, where measures – such as touchpoint cleaning, locked down phones, reduced numbers and fluid-resistant surgical masks – will also be retained.
‘Every HMCTS building has been thoroughly assessed against public health guidance for ventilation and we’ll continue with our existing ventilation standards. CO2 monitors will also be used as additional assurance in building areas identified through our risk assessment process,’ Sadler said.
‘I know that some of you will feel more comfortable than others as our working environment and people’s behaviour changes, but rest assured we will be managing the changes in a steady, careful way, with safety at the forefront of our minds at all times,’ he added.
HMCTS is due to publish a revised risk assessment imminently and will be hosting an online panel discussion for legal professionals on 27 July to discuss the developments.