HMCTS update regarding testing

HMCTS has updated its guidance for court users to include information about testing, to include:

  • Home test kits will be available for collection from all courts and tribunals and will be offered to all professional court users, legal professionals, judiciary, contractors, jurors, witness services and staff who attend scheduled hearings. We have kits on order, and will be distributing them from mid-April 2021 across our estate.
  • In England, those who don’t visit a court or tribunal site regularly, work from home, or where home delivery is more convenient, will be able to order home-testing kits online via the new government scheme – . You may also be able to get a rapid test from an NHS site (in Blackburn you can access rapid testing at King George’s Hall and Ewood Park). 
  • If you have a test and test positive, do not come to a court or tribunal building. You should contact the court or tribunal to let them know and follow NHS advice.

It has also issued its Operational Summary for week commencing Monday 12 April 2021, to include:

  • Following the announcement of His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral on Saturday 17 April 2021, we have reviewed the arrangements for Saturday hearings in magistrates’ courts. We have put plans in place (subject to any urgent court business on the day) for them to be completed ahead of the funeral so far as it is possible. The Lord Chief Justice invites everyone who is in court on Saturday at 3pm to observe the national one minute silence, which will be held at the start of the funeral ceremony.
  • We are opening a new Nightingale Court in Preston, which will provide additional non-custodial crown capacity and reduce delays in the North West. Last week we opened a Nightingale Court in Chichester providing 2 additional courtrooms for Lewes Crown Court. A full list of all Nightingale Courts can be found on GOV.UK.
  • We encourage all court users to access testing available to them and we have testing pilots at various court and tribunal sites. (see above)

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