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HMCTS publishes updated operational summary for week commencing 16 November

Date:17 NOV 2020
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HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) has updated its operational summary on courts and tribunals operations during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The summary for the week commencing (w/c) 16 November 2020 includes details on new WiFi arrangements for professional court users, additional safety features for MyHMCTS users and the installation of plexiglass screens in courtrooms and jury deliberation rooms.
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Next week’s update will be issued on the HMCTS website on Friday, 20 November 2020.

All courts and tribunals

New announcements

• HMCTS has updated its organisational risk assessment to ensure the safety of anyone entering its buildings during the coronavirus pandemic

• professional court user WiFi will no longer be available in HMCTS buildings from 15 January 2021. Court users must register for a GovWiFi account before this date by texting ‘Go’ to 07537417417 to get connected. It is a one time registration and users will be able to connect wherever GovWiFi is available. Anyone with technical difficulties should contact the BT Service Desk on 0845 600 6909

This summary retains from the previous summaries that:

• in light of further changes to restrictions in England, the fire-break in Wales and restrictions in Scotland, courts and tribunals will continue to operate following coronavirus safety compliant guidelines, with no scheduled hearings set to change.

• the Lord Chief Justice and Senior President of Tribunals have published a message about the new coronavirus restrictions for England and what this means for courts and tribunals

• guidance on wearing face coverings in court has been published for England, Wales and Scotland

• the RCJ operational update remains the same

• HMCTS reminds court and tribunal users to familiarise themselves with the criteria of a ‘close contact’ and what is meant by ‘contact’ with a person who has tested positive

• HMCTS reminds users that they should not go to any court or tribunal if they have coronavirus symptoms, have tested positive for coronavirus or have been instructed to self-isolate by the NHS. Users should contact the court or tribunal before they are due to attend so suitable arrangements can be made. While public health legislation (the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Self-Isolation) (England) Regulations 2020, SI 2020/1045) allows those involved in legal proceedings to come out of self-isolation when necessary, individuals must contact the court or tribunal first to decide appropriate arrangements (see: LNB News 05/10/2020 13)

• Courts and Tribunals Service Centres are available from 8 am to 5 pm Monday to Thursday and 8 am to 4 pm on Fridays until further notice