Courts and Tribunals Weekly Operational Update - Coronavirus: week commencing Monday 12 October 2020

HMCTS weekly operational update during coronavirus outbreak

HMCTS weekly operational update: Week commencing Monday 12 October 2020

Next week’s update will be issued on Friday 16 October 2020.

  • Reminder: You should not come to any of our court and tribunal buildings if you have coronavirus symptoms, if you have tested positive for COVID-19 or if you have been instructed by the NHS to self-isolate. Please contact the court or tribunal before you are due to attend so that suitable arrangements can be made for your hearing. Read our guidance about coming to court during the pandemic. While public health legislation allows those involved in legal proceedings to come out of self-isolation when necessary, you must consult with the court or tribunal first who will consider and decide on appropriate arrangements. 
  • Following the announcements on the local restrictions in England and those local restrictions in Wales, courts and tribunals will continue to function in these regions as normal. As an essential public service, work continues as before and there are currently no plans to change scheduled hearings. This is the same as the approach taken when similar local restrictions were implemented earlier in the summer, for example in the city of Leicester. We are following public health advice and are experienced in managing COVID-secure ways of working with a range of mitigating measures in place.
  • We’re asking that court and tribunal users wear a face covering in all public and communal parts of our buildings in England and Wales. Those people using our buildings in Scotland may also wear face coverings, but they remain optional. We’ve published guidance on wearing a face covering when coming to court.
  • Our Courts and Tribunals Service Centres are available from 8am to 5pm Monday to Thursday and 8am to 4pm on Fridays until further notice. Courts and Tribunals Service Centre - advice on contacting HMCTS during coronavirus (PDF, 218KB, 5 pages).
  • Welsh Language services available during the coronavirus outbreak. Welsh language services update (PDF, 133KB, 1 page).


  • Jury trials have resumed in 77 Crown Courts and are running in 4 Nightingale Courts and 2 other existing court locations.
  • Crown Courts due to restart jury trials in October 2020 (dates to be confirmed) – Doncaster Justice Centre South (Doncaster Crown Court), satellite of Sheffield, Preston Crown Court and Family Court (Sessions House) Annex, and King’s Lynn Crown Court).
  • Updated: We have installed plexiglass screens in 204 court rooms and 109 jury deliberation rooms so far. Further installations are being planned for October.
  • Crown Courts continue to deal with a range of work remotely, including sentencing hearings and all urgent applications including applications for bail and applications to extend custody time limits. Pre-trial preparation hearings and further case management hearings are also taking place.
  • Magistrates’ courts are now dealing with most business type hearings. Since August magistrates’ courts have been completing more cases than have been received and the number of sittings are almost at pre-covid levels. We are working hard to return this to 100%, in a COVID-safe way.
  • The judiciary has published a note of listing in magistrates’ courts during coronavirus outbreak.
  • Updated: Common Platform is our new, digital case management system, now beginning rollout to a series of early adopter courts. As each court goes live with Common Platform, defence solicitors and barristers will need to register for accounts before any hearings they attend. This will allow on-the-day check-in, self-serving access to case material, and linking to a case/defendant for payment purposes for the Legal Aid Agency.
  • All questions about paying an outstanding criminal court fine should be sent to our National Compliance and Enforcement Service at or call 0300 123 9252.




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