Courts: Coronavirus

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 12th February 2021.

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Photo of Hilary Benn Hilary Benn Labour, Leeds Central

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what his policy is on the number of visitors allowed into court buildings in the context of the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of Chris Philp Chris Philp The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

Regulating the footfall within our physical buildings has been central to ensuring that our courts and tribunals remain safe for the people who need to use them.

We have significantly changed our ways of working since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure our buildings are Covid-secure. Given the need for social distancing, there has been a focus on regulating and reducing footfall. For example, we have drastically increased capacity for remote (e.g. video) hearings; and have worked closely with the judiciary in scheduling court and tribunal lists in innovative ways, to spread cases throughout the day. We have also made sure that all staff who can work from home are able to do so, thereby further reducing the number of people in our buildings and we ask parties coming into court or tribunal for a hearing, where they need support, to limit that support to only one person (for example a friend or family member). Our approach to managing and maintaining safety across our courts and tribunals estate is set out in detail for all our users via our Gov.UK pages: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-courts-and-tribunals-planning-and-preparation#assessing-and-managing-coronavirus-risk

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