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Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice and guidance

This section contains the latest advice and guidance from the judiciary in relation to the coronavirus pandemic. It is updated when there are significant developments and you should check the page on a regular basis to ensure you are kept informed of the latest position.

Table of Content

  1. General Information
  2. Cross-Jurisdictional Guidance
  3. Civil Guidance
  4. Crime Guidance
  5. Family Guidance
  6. Magistracy Guidance
  7. Tribunals Guidance
  8. Archived Messages and Guidance

General Information

Weekly operational summary on courts and tribunals during coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak (external link, opens in a new tab)
Updated weekly

HMCTS guidance and updates – Daily operational summary on courts and tribunals during coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak (external link, opens in a new tab)
Updated regularly

 

Message from the Lord Chief Justice: latest COVID-19 restrictions (opens in a new tab)
05 January 2021

HMCTS risk assessment and safety guidance (external link, opens in a new tab)
27 May 2020

Jury Trials update (opens in a new tab)
24 April 2020

Contingency Planning – Courts and Tribunals (opens in a new tab)
An announcement and list of those buildings remaining open can be found on the above link.
27 March 2020

Review of court arrangements due to COVID-19, message from the Lord Chief Justice (opens in a new tab)
23 March 2020

Cross-Jurisdictional Guidance

Royal Courts of Justice Fees Office update (opens in a new tab)
1 June 2020

General Guidance on PDF bundles (opens in a new tab)
20 May 2020

Administrative Court Guidance (external link, opens in a new tab)

Message for Circuit and District Judges sitting in Civil and Family from the Lord Chief Justice, Master of the Rolls and President of the Family Division (opens in a new tab)
15 April 2020

High Court Contingency Plan (opens in a new tab)
27 March 2020

Guidance For Family & County Court Judges – COVID-19 Measures (opens in a new tab)
This link will download a word document
23 March 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Message from the Lord Chief Justice to judges in the Civil and Family Courts (opens in a new tab)
19 March 2020

Civil Guidance

Protocol for Insolvency and Company Work at Central London (opens in a new tab)
3 September 2020

Civil Procedure (Amendment No. 4) (Coronavirus) Rules 2020 & the 123rd Practice Direction Update (opens in a new tab)
21 July 2020

Civil Procedure (Amendment No. 3) Rules 2020 & the 122nd Practice Direction Update (opens in a new tab)
21 July 2020

121st Practice Direction Update to the Civil Procedure Rules – Coronavirus Pandemic related (opens in a new tab)
11 June 2020

Amended Civil Listing Priorities (opens in a new tab)
14 May 2020

Remote Cost Hearings Guidance (Word document, opens in a new tab)
This link will download a word document
24 April 2020

New Practice Direction 51ZA Extension of Time Limits and Clarification of PD51Y (opens in a new tab)
02 April 2020

Update – Civil Justice in England and Wales: Protocol regarding Remote Hearings (opens in a new tab)
31 March 2020

New Practice Direction 51Z to Stay Possession Proceedings (opens in a new tab)
27 March 2020

Practice Direction on Video or Audio Hearings in Civil Proceedings during the Coronavirus Pandemic (opens in a new tab)
25 March 2020

Practical measures to ensure social distancing in Central London County Court – Insolvency and Companies work (Word document, opens in a new tab)
This link will download a word document
24 March 2020

Civil Court guidance on how to conduct remote hearings (opens in a new tab)
22 March 202

Insolvency

Northern Temporary Insolvency Practice Direction – July 2021 (PDF, opens in a new tab)
30 June 2021

Northern Temporary Insolvency Practice Direction (PDF, opens in a new tab)
6 April 2021

Extended temporary Insolvency Practice Direction – approved and signed by Lord Wolfson (opens in a new tab)
31 March 2021

Northern Temporary Insolvency Practice Direction (opens in a new tab)
6 October 2020

North BPC Bundle Guidance (opens in a new tab)
6 October 2020

Guidance on the operation of the TIPD in London Insolvency and Companies Court (ICC) (opens in a new tab)
2 October 2020

Extended temporary Insolvency Practice Direction – approved and signed by the Lord Chancellor (opens in a new tab)
2 October 2020

 

More information:

Civil court guidance and orders issued for different circuits around England (opens in a new tab)

Crime Guidance

Withdrawal of Custody Time Limits Protocol of 9 April 2020 (opens in a new tab)
2 September 2020

HMCTS memo to the SPJ – Supporting recovery in the Crown Court jurisdiction (PDF, opens in a new tab)
24 August 2020

Listing in Magistrates’ Courts (opens in a new tab)
07 July 2020

Multi-hander cases in overnight remand courts (opens in a new tab)
19 June 2020

Guidance for Crown Court Judges – COVID-19 Measures (Word document, opens in a new tab)
This link will download a word document
23 March 2020

Family Guidance

Court of Protection

Letter from Mr Justice Hayden: COVID-19 restrictions and the Court of Protection (opens in a new tab)
16 October 2020

Court of Protection COVID-19 Remote Hearings (opens in a new tab)
31 March 2020

Court of Protection COVID-19 Guidance No3 (opens in a new tab)
24 March 2020

Court of Protection COVID-19 Guidance No2 (opens in a new tab)
18 March 2020

Court of Protection COVID-19 Guidance No1 (opens in a new tab)
13 March 2020

General Family

Message from the President of the Family Division: The Road Ahead 2021 (opens in a new tab)
8 January 2021

Practice Guidance on Service of Part 4 Family Law Act 1996 applications, orders and notification to the police: Pilot Practice Direction 36U (opens in a new tab)

28 July 2020

Updated version of the Remote Family Access Court released (opens in a new tab)
26 June 2020

President’s Guidance on Decrees during the Coronavirus Pandemic (opens in a new tab)
9 April 2020

Updated – Coronavirus crisis: Guidance on Compliance with Family Court Child Arrangement Orders (opens in a new tab)
31 March 2020

COVID-19: Temporary Amendments to the Practice Guidance on Case Management and Mediation of International Child Abduction Proceedings (opens in a new tab)
27 March 2020

Judge Advocate General

Coronavirus (COVID-19) measures:
Operation of the Service Courts Procedures from 11 January 2021 (opens in a new tab)
12 January 2021

Magistracy Guidance

Listing in Magistrates’ Courts (opens in a new tab)
07 July 2020

Tribunals Guidance

Different Chambers

Administrative Appeals Chamber

Directions for general extension of time to comply with directions of the Upper Tribunal (AAC) (PDF, opens in a new tab)
5 March 2021

Upper Tribunal Administrative Appeals Chamber: Revised Guidance for Users in Northern Ireland (PDF, opens in a new tab)
18 September 2020

Administrative Appeals Chamber: Help for Users (PDF, opens in a new tab)
25 August 2020

Administrative Appeals Chamber (Upper Tribunal) Revised Guidance for Users in England and Wales (PDF, opens in a new tab)
21 August 2020

Administrative Appeals Chamber (Upper Tribunal) Revised Guidance for Users in Scotland (PDF, opens in a new tab)
21 August 2020

Administrative Appeals Chamber (Upper Tribunal) Guidance for Users in Scotland (opens in a new tab) (updated 21 August 2020)
16 April 2020

Administrative Appeals Chamber (Upper Tribunal) Guidance for Users in England and Wales (opens in a new tab) (updated 21 August 2020)
16 April 2020

Administrative Appeals Chamber: Help for Users (opens in a new tab) (updated 25 August 2020)
15 April 2020

Upper Tribunal Administrative Appeals Chamber – Information and Directions for General Stay and General Extension of Time (opens in a new tab)
25 March 2020

Employment Appeals Tribunal

Practice Direction (Employment Appeal Tribunal – Procedure – Hearings) (opens in a new tab)
12 June 2020

Employment Appeal Tribunals: Help for Users (opens in a new tab)
15 April 2020

Employment Appeal Tribunals – Hearing Arrangements from 16 April 2020 (opens in a new tab)
9 April 2020

Employment Appeal Tribunal – Provisional Arrangements during COVID-19 Pandemic (opens in a new tab)
25 March 2020

Employment Tribunals

Employment Tribunals: A road map for 2021-22 (PDF, opens in a new tab)
31 March 2021

Presidential Guidance (England and Wales) on remote and in-person hearings (PDF, opens in a new tab)

14 September 2020

Presidential Practice Direction (England and Wales) on remote hearings and open justice (PDF, opens in a new tab)

14 September 2020

Presidential Practice Direction (on the use of the Welsh language) (PDF, opens in a new tab)

14 September 2020

Updated FAQs arising from the COVID-19 pandemic (opens in a new tab)
1 June 2020

FAQs arising from the COVID-19 pandemic (updated – see above) (opens in a new tab)
30 April 2020

Employment Tribunals, England & Wales and Scotland: Help for Users (opens in a new tab)
15 April 2020

Amendment to Direction Issued by Employment Tribunal Presidents on 19 March 2020 (opens in a new tab)
24 March 2020

Employment Tribunals listing direction review outcome
The Presidents of Employment Tribunals (England and Wales and Scotland) have carried out a second review of their Joint Direction, first issued on 19 March 2020, amended on 24 March 2020 and subject to a first review on 29 April 2020, regarding the listing of Employment Tribunal cases during the COVID-19 pandemic. Following on from that review the Direction remains in force in its current form. The Presidents will shortly issue a ‘road map’, appended to an amended FAQ sheet, which provides further detail about the listing and methods of conduct of ET hearings over the next few months.
29 May 2020

Direction issued by Employment Tribunal Presidents (opens in a new tab)
19 March 2020

Directions and Guidance for Employment Tribunals (Scotland)
See above link for Presidential guidance in connection with the conduct of employment tribunal proceedings during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic
18 March 2020

Employment Rules and Legislation: Practice Directions
See above link for Presidential guidance in connection with the conduct of employment tribunal proceedings during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic
18 March 2020

Guidance for Employment Tribunals (opens in a new tab)
Presidential guidance in connection with the conduct of employment tribunal proceedings during the COVID-19 pandemic
17 March 2020

General Regulatory Chamber

Update on the ways of working in the First-Tier Tribunal (General Regulatory Chamber), during the Coronavirus pandemic (PDF, opens in a new tab)
11 February 2021

General Regulatory Chamber (First-Tier Tribunal): Update on Ways of Working (opens in a new tab)
15 June 2020

General Regulatory Chamber (First-Tier Tribunal): Help for Users (opens in a new tab)
15 April 2020

General Regulatory Chamber, Information Rights (First-Tier Tribunal) Continuation of Direction for a General Stay (extension of below) (opens in a new tab)
27 April 2020

First-Tier Tribunal General Regulatory Chamber (Information Rights), Directions for General Stay (opens in a new tab) (extended. See 27 April above)
2 April 2020

Guidance from General Regulatory Chamber on Ways of Working during Coronavirus Outbreak (opens in a new tab)
23 March 2020

Health, Education and Social Care Chamber

Help for Users Updated – Health, Education and Social Care Chamber guidance (PDF, opens in a new tab)
16 February 2021

Guidance from the Chamber President and Deputy Chamber President of HESC (PDF, opens in a new tab) regarding the Special Educational Needs and Disability, Care Standards and Primary Health Lists jurisdictions: a digital tribunal jurisdiction.
16 February 2021

Video Hearing Guidance for Representatives in Mental Health Tribunals (opens in a new tab)
21 September 2020

 Amended Pilot Practice Direction: Health, Education and Social Care Chamber of the First- Tier Tribunal (Mental Health) (PDF, opens in a new tab)
15 September 2020

Updated Mental Health hearing Guidance for Users (opens in a new tab)
28 July 2020

Video hearing guidance for participants in mental health hearings (opens in a new tab)
17 July 2020

Guidance from the Chamber President and Deputy Chamber President of HESC regarding the Mental Health jurisdiction (opens in a new tab)
19 March 2020

Pilot Practice Direction: Health, Education and Social Care Chamber of the First-Tier Tribunal (Mental Health) (opens in a new tab)
19 March 2020

Immigration and Asylum Chamber

Immigration and Asylum Chamber (First-Tier Tribunal): Help for Users – June-August 2021 (PDF, opens in a new tab)
18 June 2021

(First-Tier Tribunal) (Immigration and Asylum Chamber), Judge Michael Clements, President, Presidential Statement No 1 Of 2021: Arrangements during the COVID-19 pandemic (PDF, opens in a new tab)
19 April 2021

First-Tier Tribunal (IAC) on-line Directions (Using” MyHMCTS”), Annex 1 (PDF, opens in a new tab)
19 April 2021

First-Tier Tribunal (IAC) On-line Directions Represented Appellants (not using “MyHMCTS”) Annex 2 (PDF, opens in a new tab)
19 April 2021

First-Tier Tribunal (IAC) Directions Unrepresented Appellants, Annex 3 (PDF, opens in a new tab)
19 April 2021

UTIAC Amended Presidential Guidance Note No1 2020: Arrangements during the COVID-19 Pandemic (opens in a new tab)
19 November 2020

Immigration and Asylum Tribunal Chamber presidential practice statement note: COVID-19 pandemic (opens in a new tab)
11 June 2020

Presidential Practice Statement note no.2: Immigration and Asylum Chamber (opens in a new tab)
11 June 2020

Judicial Review Applications to the Immigration and Asylum Chamber (Upper Tribunal) (opens in a new tab)
29 April 2020

Letter from the President of the First-tier Tribunal Immigration and Asylum Chamber to stakeholders about the pandemic arrangements in the Chamber (opens in a new tab)
22 April 2020

Immigration and Asylum Chamber (First-Tier Tribunal): Help for Users (opens in a new tab)
15 April 2020

Presidential Practice Statement note no.1: Immigration and Asylum Chamber (opens in a new tab)
23 March 2020

Lands Chamber

 Update on the conduct of proceedings in the Upper Tribunal, Land   Chamber during the COVID-19 pandemic (PDF, opens in a new tab)(Updated 26 May 2021)

4 November 2020

Guidance for use of Electronic Hearing Bundles: Upper Tribunal, Lands Chamber (PDF, opens in a new tab)
4 November 2020

Presidential Guidance on the Conduct of Proceedings in the Lands Chamber (Upper Tribunal) during the COVID-19 Pandemic (opens in a new tab)
26 June 2020

Presidential Guidance on the Conduct of Proceedings in the Lands Chamber (Upper Tribunal) during the COVID-19 Pandemic (opens in a new tab) Updated 26 June – see above
1 May 2020

Lands Chamber (Upper Tribunal): Help for Users second edition (opens in a new tab)
1 May 2020

Payment of fees to the Lands Chamber (Upper Tribunal) (opens in a new tab)
29 April 2020

Lands Chamber (Upper Tribunal): Help for Users (opens in a new tab) Updated 1 May – see above.
15 April 2020

Presidential Guidance on the Conduct of Proceedings in the Upper Tribunal, Lands Chamber during the COVID-19 Pandemic (opens in a new tab) Updated 1 May – see above.
24 March 2020

Property Chamber

Pilot Practice Direction: Amendment relating to inspections by the First-tier Tribunal Property Chamber (opens in a new tab)
23 June 2020

Property Chamber (First-Tier Tribunal) Guidance for Users – updated February 2021 (PDF, opens in a new tab)
8 June 2020

Payment of application and hearing fees to the Property Chamber – Residential Property division (First-tier Tribunal) (opens in a new tab)
29 April 2020

Property Chamber (First-Tier Tribunal) Guidance for Users (updated 8 June – see above) (opens in a new tab)
29 April 2020

Property Chamber Land Registration Division – FAQ (opens in a new tab)
24 April 2020

Property Chamber (First-Tier Tribunal): Help for Users: Residential Property, Land Registration, Agricultural Lands & Drainage (opens in a new tab)
15 April 2020

Practice Direction Property Chamber, First-tier Tribunal Lodging Applications and Documents by Email and Areas in the Property Chamber (opens in a new tab)
26 March 2020

Social Entitlement Chamber

Help for Users: Social Entitlement Chamber (First-Tier Tribunal) (PDF, opens in a new tab)
11 February 2021

First-tier Tribunal, Asylum Support: Help for Users Guide (applicable during the Covid-19 pandemic) (PDF, opens in a new tab) Updated May 2021
11 November 2020

First-Tier Tribunal, Asylum Support (FTT-AS) Road-map to Recovery (PDF, opens in a new tab)
7 October 2020

Social Entitlement Chamber (First-Tier Tribunal): Social Security and Child Support, Criminal Injuries Compensation and Asylum Support: Help for Users UPDATED (opens in a new tab)
17 June 2020

Social Entitlement Chamber (First-Tier Tribunal): Social Security and Child Support, Criminal Injuries Compensation and Asylum Support: Help for Users (updated 17 June – see above) (opens in a new tab)
29 May 2020

Social Entitlement Chamber (First-Tier Tribunal): Asylum Support: Arrangements During the COVID-19 Pandemic (PDF, opens in a new tab)
31 March 2020 (Updated 7 October 2020)

Social Entitlement Chamber (First-Tier Tribunal): Asylum Support: Help for Users (PDF, opens in a new tab)
31 March 2020 (Upafted 7 October 2020)

Special Immigration Appeals Commission

Special Immigration Appeals Commission, Proscribed Organisations Appeal Commission and Pathogens Access Appeal Commission – COVID-19 update (opens in a new tab)
31 March 2020

Tax Chamber(s)

Guidance on the conduct of proceeding in the Upper Tribunal, Tax and Chancery Chamber during the COVID-19 pandemic (PDF, opens in a new tab)
20 January 2021

First-Tier Tribunal (Tax Chamber) COVID-19 Frequently asked questions (opens in a new tab)
5 June 2020

COVID-19: Response to reports of delays from the Chamber President (opens in a new tab)
13 May 2020

First Tier Tribunal Tax Chamber – Directions for a further general stay in relation to certain proceedings (opens in a new tab)
21 April 2020

Tax and Chancery Chamber (Upper Tribunal): Help for Users (opens in a new tab)
15 April 2020

Tax Chamber (First-Tier Tribunal): Help for Users (opens in a new tab)
15 April 2020

Announcement of reduction in service in the First-Tier Tribunal Tax Chamber Administrative Centre (opens in a new tab)
2 April 2020

First-Tier Tribunal, Tax Chamber – Directions for a General Stay (opens in a new tab)
26 March 2020

Provisional Practice Statement First-Tier Tribunal Categorisation of Tax Cases in the Tax Chamber (opens in a new tab)
25 March 2020

Updated Guidance for users on the Administration and Conduct of Proceedings in The First-Tier Tribunal Tax Chamber (opens in a new tab)
25 March 2020

Practice Statement: First-Tier Tribunal Categorisation of Tax Cases in the Tax Chamber (opens in a new tab)
23 March 2020

Guidance on the Conduct of Proceedings in the Upper Tribunal, Tax and Chancery Chamber during the COVID-19 Pandemic (opens in a new tab)
23 March 2020

Statement of Conduct of Business in the First-Tier Tribunal Tax Chamber (opens in a new tab)
19 March 2020

War Pensions and Armed Forces Compensation Chamber

War Pensions and Armed Forces Compensation Chamber (First-Tier Tribunal): Help for users (opens in a new tab)
30 April 2020

War Pensions and Armed Forces Compensation Chamber (First-Tier Tribunal): Help for Users (opens in a new tab) Updated 1 May – see above.
15 April 2020

First-tier Tribunal (War Pensions and Armed Forces Compensation Chamber) guidance for users (opens in a new tab)
25 March 2020

General Tribunals

COVID 19 Practice Directions for the First Tier and Upper Tribunal:
Amended General Pilot Practice Direction – March 2021 (PDF, opens in a new tab)
Amended Panel Composition Pilot PD – March 2021 (PDF, opens in a new tab)
Amended Mental Health PD – March 2021 (PDF, opens in a new tab)
18 March 2021

Amended General Pilot Practice Direction: Contingency Arrangements in the First-Tier Tribunal and the Upper Tribunal (PDF, opens in a new tab)
15 September 2020

Amended Pilot Practice Direction: Panel Composition in the First-Tier Tribunal and the Upper Tribunal (PDF, opens in a new tab)
15 September 2020

Presidential Practice Direction: Electronic Signatures (opens in a new tab)
4 May 2020

Judges’ and Members’ Administrative Instruction No 4 from the Senior President (opens in a new tab)
14 April 2020

Pilot Practice Direction: Video/Audio Hearings in the First-Tier Tribunal and the Upper Tribunal (opens in a new tab)
2 April 2020

Pilot Practice Direction: the use of former Salaried Judges (opens in a new tab)
27 March 2020

Judges’ and Members’ Administrative Instruction No.3 from the Senior President (opens in a new tab)
27 March 2020

Judges’ and Members’ Administrative Instruction No.2 from the Senior President (opens in a new tab)
23 March 2020

Guidance for Tribunal Judges and Members– COVID-19 Measures (opens in a new tab)
This link will download a word document
23 March 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Message from Presidents of the Employment Tribunals in England & Wales and in Scotland (opens in a new tab)
19 March 2020

Pilot Practice Direction: Contingency Arrangements in the First-Tier Tribunal and the Upper Tribunal (opens in a new tab)
19 March 2020

Pilot Practice Direction: Panel Composition in the First-Tier Tribunal and the Upper Tribunal (opens in a new tab)
19 March 2020

Judges’ and Members’ Administrative Directions No. 1 from the Senior President (opens in a new tab)
18 March 2020

Archived Messages and Guidance

Immigration and Asylum Chamber (First-Tier Tribunal): Help for Users – April 2021 Update Who’s who poster (PDF, opens in a new tab)
4 January 2021

Frequently asked questions about hearing arrangements during the Coronavirus Pandemic- July 2020 (opens in a new tab)
3 August 2020

Updated – Health Education and Social Care Chamber Guidance for Users – special educational needs, care standards and primary health lists (opens in a new tab)
14 July

Remote Access Family Courts, latest guidance (opens in a new tab)
17 April 2020

Protocol for Custody Time Limits (opens in a new tab)
9 April 2020

Temporary Insolvency Practice Direction – approved and signed by the Lord Chancellor (opens in a new tab)
07 April 2020

Civil Listing Priorities (Word document) (opens in a new tab)
03 April 2020

Annex A CTL Application – Adjournment of Trial Due to Coronavirus Crisis (Word document, opens in a new tab)
Protocol for the effective handling of Custody Time Limit cases in the magistrates and crown court, between the Senior Presiding Judge, HMCTS and the Crown Prosecution Service
30 March 2020 (withdrawn 2 September)

Guidance from the Chamber President and Deputy Chamber President of HESC (opens in a new tab)
regarding the Special Education Needs and Disability, Care Standards and Primary Health Lists jurisdictions: launch of the first paperless, digital tribunal jurisdictions
19 March 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Jury trials, message from the Lord Chief Justice (opens in a new tab)
17 March 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19) update from the Lord Chief Justice (opens in a new tab)
17 March 2020