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 8 March 2021

Next week’s update will be issued on Friday 12 March 2021.

  • Updated: We have opened a Nightingale Court at Birmingham Maple House, which provides 4 additional courtrooms for Crown, Civil and Family work. We have also opened a Nightingale Court in Barbican, London, which provides 2 additional courtrooms for Crown Court work.
  • Jurors must wear fluid resistant surgical masks, provided by the court, in smaller deliberation rooms (that operate with 1m distancing plus mitigations like screens). We have amended our organisational risk assessment accordingly, following updated public health advice
  • To try to keep the number of people attending courts and tribunals in person to a minimum, we’re encouraging those involved in the legal process to only bring one bring one person with them if they feel they need support – such as a friend or family member.
  • Our court and tribunal finder service is the authoritative source for the operational status of all our buildings. Please check before travelling to any court or tribunal building.
  • We encourage all court and tribunals users to take part in any Community Testing Programme that is available locally. You can check your local authority website to find out more. In locations where new virus variants have been found the government strongly advises you to take a COVID test, whether you are showing symptoms or not.
  • 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

  • Updated: The Common Platform digital case management system is now live in Guildford Crown and Magistrates’ Courts, and Staines Magistrates’ Court. The next courts to go live with the system will be: North Staffordshire Justice Centre, Cannock Magistrates’ Court, Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court, Stafford Crown Court, Warrington Magistrates’ Court and Chester Crown Court. Defence solicitors and barristers who work in these courts need to register now for Common Platform accounts. Watch our webinar to find out more about the system.
  • Magistrates’ courts are facilitating the remote attendance of those involved in proceedings where the court has directed, and is able to facilitate, this. The safe operation of courts remains paramount so listing volumes are being adjusted to reduce the number of people coming to court, in line with the Lord Chief Justice’s recent statement. Updated guidance has been issued to those still required to attend in person.
  • 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.
  • The judiciary has published a note of listing in magistrates’ courts during coronavirus outbreak.

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 5 March 2021 + show all updates
  1. Operational update for week commencing Monday 8 March 2021 published.

  2. Added translation

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

  4. Added translation

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

  6. Added translation

  7. Added line on users being accompanied to court.

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

  9. Added translation

  10. Update for week commencing Monday 15 February published.

  11. Added translation

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

  13. Added translation

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

  15. Added translation

  16. Update for week commencing Monday 25 January 2021.

  17. Added translation

  18. Update for week commencing Monday 18 January published.

  19. Added translation

  20. Added line on rapid lateral flow testing.

  21. Update for week commencing Monday 11 January published.

  22. Added translation

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

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

  25. Added translation

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

  27. Added translation

  28. Updated local restriction tier info

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

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

  31. Added translation

  32. COVID Operating Hours consultation closing date updated.

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

  34. Added translation

  35. Update for week commencing Monday 30 November published.

  36. Added translation

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

  38. Update for week commencing 23 November 2020 published.

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

  40. Weekly ops update for 9 Nov 2020 added.

  41. Added translation

  42. National restrictions in England announcements added.

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

  44. Added translation

  45. Update for week commencing 26 October published.

  46. Adding link to Welsh Government national fire-break

  47. Update for week commencing 19 October 2020 published.

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

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

  50. Added translation

  51. Updated RCJ Administrative Court guidance added.

  52. Update for week commencing Monday 12 October published.

  53. Added translation

  54. Update for week commencing Monday 5 October published.

  55. Added translation

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

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

  58. North East local restrictions infomation added.

  59. Update for week commencing 14 September 2020 published.

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

  61. Update for week commencing 31 August 2020 published.

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

  63. Added translation

  64. Page update with new weekly opertional summary.

  65. Update for week commencing 17 August 2020 published.

  66. Update for week commencing 10 August 2020 published.

  67. Added translation

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

  69. Update for week commencing 27 July 2020 published.

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

  71. Updated for week commencing 20 July 2020 published.

  72. Update for week commencing 13 July 2020 published.

  73. Added translation

  74. Update for week commencing 6 July 2020 published.

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

  76. Update for week commencing 22 June 2020 published.

  77. Update for week commencing 15 June 2020 published.

  78. Update for week commencing 8 June 2020 published.

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

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

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

  82. Updaye for w/c 11 May added.

  83. Updated for week commencing 4 May 2020 added.

  84. Added translation