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Lawyers can break quarantine to attend court, says Bar Council

By Jemma Slingo  >>

Lawyers coming back from holiday can break quarantine to attend court and tribunal hearings in-person, according to an announcement by the Bar Council.

In an email seen by the Gazette, chair of the Bar Council Amanda Pinto QC told members that ‘after significant lobbying’ the Department for Transport has confirmed that barristers returning from non-exempt countries – and who, therefore, have to self-isolate for 14 days – can break quarantine to attend a court or tribunal hearing. They then have to continue to self-isolate for the remainder of the 14-day period.

The exemption applies to anyone who needs to participate in a hearing – including clients – and does not require any additional paperwork, Pinto said.

‘This accommodation follows our ongoing pressure on the government to value the functioning of the justice system and the daily work of the bar through Covid-19. It’s good to know we are now in league with Formula 1 mechanics and astronauts.’

France, Aruba, Malta, Monaco, the Netherlands and Turks and Caicos Islands were removed from England’s ‘travel corridor’ list at 4am on Saturday.

(Courtesy: The Law Society Gazette)