Guidance

HMCTS weekly operational summary on courts and tribunals during coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

This page provides a weekly summary of the HM Courts and Tribunals Service operational position during the coronavirus pandemic. We will aim to update this every Friday at 5pm.

We are issuing weekly updates on our operational position and we’ll email our subscribers each Sunday evening with a reminder. On Monday mornings we’ll also publish a link to the weekly update on Twitter.

You can see our previously issued daily operational updates.

Follow us on @HMCTSgovuk to also check for daily or urgent updates.

We’ll keep this under review.

HMCTS operational summary for week commencing Monday 19 April 2021

Next week’s update will be issued on Friday 23 April 2021.

  • Updated: This week we opened a Nightingale Court in Preston which will provide additional non-custodial crown capacity for the North West. A full list of all Nightingale Courts can be found on GOV.UK.
  • Updated: We encourage all users to access testing available to them. 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. We created an update on testing for people visiting our courts and tribunals on 14 April 2021. HMCTS testing update (PDF, 105KB, 2 pages)
  • Fluid Resistant Surgical Masks (FRSMs) are to be supplied to professional users providing legal consultation in custody suites. This is in addition to the existing safety measures already in place. FRSMs will be issued by staff on entry to court custody suites. Our guidance outlines the use of FRSMs and existing safety measures. Wearing of Fluid Resistant Surgical Masks in custody suites (PDF, 170KB, 3 pages) Professional users should also familiarise themselves with this guidance on how to wear and remove face coverings. How to wear and remove your face covering or mask (PDF, 166KB, 1 page)
  • Reminder: We review and update our COVID risk assessments each week and apply any changes needed. You can ask for a copy from your local court. If you have any questions about how the risk assessment meets government guidance or how it’s being followed, you can raise your concerns following our escalation process. Escalation routes for professional users (PDF, 266KB, 3 pages)
  • Reminder: Court and tribunal users must continue to wear a face covering in all public and communal parts of our buildings. This includes robing rooms. This is in line with Government advice on face coverings (England), Face coverings: guidance for public (Wales) and COVID-19 stage 3: staying safe and protecting others (Scotland). Guidance has also been published to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Crime

  • Common Platform is the new digital case management system for HMCTS, the judiciary, and professional court users. By the end of April 2021, it is scheduled to go live in selected courts in the Midlands, Wales, the North West, the North East and the South West. We are contacting the defence firms and chambers working with these courts and asking them to register their legal practitioners now for user accounts.
  • Following the Lord Chief Justice’s message on recovery (17 March 2021), court lists in magistrates’ courts will be adjusted for those involved in proceedings to attend in person where the court has directed this, in the interests of justice and where it is safe to do so. The safe operation of the courts continues to be our primary consideration and remote hearings still play an integral part in managing footfall in our buildings safely.
  • The Crown Court is hearing all types of applications and cases, including multi-hander trials. Where appropriate, judges continue to deal with a range of work remotely, including sentencing hearings.

Family

  • Family courts continue to prioritise work as agreed with the President of the Family Division. Work levels are slowly returning to pre-COVID levels and we are working hard to return this to 100%, in a COVID-safe way.

Civil

Tribunals

Royal Courts of Justice

Judicial announcements

Previous editions

Published 24 April 2020
Last updated 16 April 2021 + show all updates
  1. Update for week commencing Monday 19 April 2021 published.

  2. Update for week commencing Monday 12 April 2021 published.

  3. Added translation

  4. Update for week commencing Monday 5 April 2021 published.

  5. Update for week commencing Monday 29 March 2021 published.

  6. Added translation

  7. Update for week commencing Monday 22 March 2021 published.

  8. Added translation

  9. Update for week commencing Monday 15 March 2021 published.

  10. Added translation

  11. Operational update for week commencing Monday 8 March 2021 published.

  12. Added translation

  13. Update for week commencing Monday 1 March 2021 published.

  14. Added translation

  15. Added line to address the Prime Minister's roadmap to lift lockdown restrictions.

  16. Added translation

  17. Added line on users being accompanied to court.

  18. Update for week commencing Monday 22 February 2021 published.

  19. Added translation

  20. Update for week commencing Monday 15 February published.

  21. Added translation

  22. Update for week commencing Monday 8 February 2021 published.

  23. Added translation

  24. Update for week commencing Monday 1 February 2021 published.

  25. Added translation

  26. Update for week commencing Monday 25 January 2021.

  27. Added translation

  28. Update for week commencing Monday 18 January published.

  29. Added translation

  30. Added line on rapid lateral flow testing.

  31. Update for week commencing Monday 11 January published.

  32. Added translation

  33. Edited opening paragraphs following the Prime Minister's latest national lockdown announcement.

  34. Update for week commencing Monday 4 January 2021 published.

  35. Added translation

  36. Updated for week commencing Monday 28 December 2020 published.

  37. Added translation

  38. Updated local restriction tier info

  39. Update for week commencing Monday 21 December 2020 published.

  40. Update for week commencing Monday 14 December 2020 published.

  41. Added translation

  42. COVID Operating Hours consultation closing date updated.

  43. Update for week commencing Monday 7 December 2020 published.

  44. Added translation

  45. Update for week commencing Monday 30 November published.

  46. Added translation

  47. Updates added for Queen’s Bench Masters Listing and Action Department Information for Court Users and Section 28 press release.

  48. Update for week commencing 23 November 2020 published.

  49. Update for week commencing Monday 16 November 2020 published.

  50. Weekly ops update for 9 Nov 2020 added.

  51. Added translation

  52. National restrictions in England announcements added.

  53. Update for week commencing Monday 2 November 2020 published.

  54. Added translation

  55. Update for week commencing 26 October published.

  56. Adding link to Welsh Government national fire-break

  57. Update for week commencing 19 October 2020 published.

  58. Update to local COVID alert level changes 15 Oct 2020 added.

  59. Link to local COVID Alert Levels guidance in England added.

  60. Added translation

  61. Updated RCJ Administrative Court guidance added.

  62. Update for week commencing Monday 12 October published.

  63. Added translation

  64. Update for week commencing Monday 5 October published.

  65. Added translation

  66. Update for week commencing Monday 28 September 2020 published.

  67. Update for week commencing Monday 21 September 2020 published.

  68. North East local restrictions infomation added.

  69. Update for week commencing 14 September 2020 published.

  70. Update for week commencing Monday 7 September 2020 published.

  71. Update for week commencing 31 August 2020 published.

  72. Update for week commencing Monday 24 August published. Rule changes regarding Writs of Possession have been made and are effective from today.

  73. Added translation

  74. Page update with new weekly opertional summary.

  75. Update for week commencing 17 August 2020 published.

  76. Update for week commencing 10 August 2020 published.

  77. Added translation

  78. Update for week commencing Monday 3 August 2020 published.

  79. Update for week commencing 27 July 2020 published.

  80. Updated to include annoucement from the Lord Chancellor on locations for 10 ‘Nightingale Courts’.

  81. Updated for week commencing 20 July 2020 published.

  82. Update for week commencing 13 July 2020 published.

  83. Added translation

  84. Update for week commencing 6 July 2020 published.

  85. Update for week commencing Monday 29 June 2020 published.

  86. Update for week commencing 22 June 2020 published.

  87. Update for week commencing 15 June 2020 published.

  88. Update for week commencing 8 June 2020 published.

  89. Update for w/c 1 June 2020 published.

  90. Update for w/c 25 May 2020 added.

  91. Update for w/c 18 May 2020 added.

  92. Updaye for w/c 11 May added.

  93. Updated for week commencing 4 May 2020 added.

  94. Added translation