Guidance For Family & County Court Judges – Covid-19 Measures

This guidance for Family and County Court Judges through the COVID-19 pandemic was issued by the Judiciary of England and Wales on 23 March 2020.


  1. Separation (2m) of people in queue to get into the court building.
  2. Separation(2m) of queue for security.
  3. Separation (2m) between security guards and people coming into court.
  4. Separation (2m) of parties/staff/judges at all times
  5. We have been asked to achieve direct access for barristers and solicitors into court building on production of ID card without going through security.  This would ease potential for congestion.  HMCTS are working on a streamlined process now.
  6. Security to wear gloves and regularly to clean trays for visitor’s belongings.
  7. Staggered arrival times for different courts/advocates.  Ditto at lunchtime and at the end of the day so as to maintain distance at all times.
  8. Sufficient supply of hand wash and paper towels (or automatic hand dryers) for all who will be in the building.  This should allow for handwashing roughly every two hours by every person (obviously not at the same time).  N.B.  Judges should allow breaks for this to occur.  Please organise and coordinate between courts.
  9. Sufficient arrangements for regular (i.e. every couple of hours) cleaning of all surfaces touched by people using the building: bannisters, doors and door handles, counsel’s bench, conference room furniture etc
  10. No sharing of documents/ Ipads/ holy books/ oath laminated sheets etc
  11. Sanitiser.  There is none in most courts.  The emphasis must be on handwashing.  Hand sanitiser is a fall back that HMCTS simply do not have.
  12. At least 2m between everyone in court, counsel, solicitors, witnesses, public at all times.  If the public gallery can’t accommodate that, organise a queuing system, assuming no video link possibility.  If it isn’t possible there will be fewer people in the public gallery.
  13. This will mean that some courts are just too small.
  14. No court-supplied water carafes anywhere.


SJP/ DSPJ                                                                              23.03.20