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Blackpool courts shut after Covid case

By Jemma Slingo  >>

Two court buildings in Blackpool have been closed after a member of staff tested positive for Covid-19.

Hearings at Blackpool County and Magistrates’ Courts were halted at 16.00 on Friday and the two buildings were closed for deep cleaning. While the courts were due to reopen for normal business today, a ‘precautionary decision’ has been made not to allow the public in.

Cases in the county court will continue to be heard remotely and cases in the magistrates’ court are in the process of being relisted.

According to an announcement by HM Courts & Tribunals Service, the staff member who tested positive worked at the Blackpool County and Magistrates’ Courts between 24 August and 4 September. It advised all court users who used the buildings during this period to monitor their own health.

The news follows the full reopening of Manchester Crown Court on 1 September. At least eight people tested positive for corona virus after the court centre was first closed on 6 August.

Last week, Northern Circuit leader Lisa Roberts QC reminded lawyers that it is compulsory to wear face masks in public areas of all court buildings.

‘I have received a number of complaints about counsel sporting chin-hugging, nose-revealing, ear-dangling masks,’ she said. ‘There are neither use nor ornament. Please wear them correctly – like you do when you visit the shops.’

(Courtesy: The Law Society Gazette)