Face coverings in All Scottish Courts and Tribunals buildings from 31 August

Aug 25, 2020

During the pandemic, the SCTS has introduced a range of measures to ensure that court and tribunal premises are safe for all those who use them – and that physical distancing can be maintained. As business on our premises starts to increase, we are continually reviewing the arrangements we have in place to promote health and safety. Please note members of the public cannot attend courts or tribunal buildings at this time due to COVID-19, unless they are directly participating in proceedings. 

With this in mind, from 31 August, we are asking all court and tribunal users to wear a face covering in public and communal areas of our buildings. You should bring your own face covering if you can. Suitable face coverings can be provided if required. 

In line with existing guidance, we expect all those using our premises to continue to maintain 2m physical distancing. The introduction of face coverings is an addition to this safeguard – not a replacement for it. 

You will not need to wear a face covering if, under government guidance, you are exempt from doing so in other locations (such as in shops or on public transport).

We strongly advise court and tribunal users to wear face coverings when entering and leaving the building, while moving from one part of the building to another, or while waiting in communal areas such as reception points, witness rooms or outside a courtroom.

Face coverings can be removed, if desired, in the following locations:

  • Within the courtroom or hearing room (the judge may ask you to remove your face covering while you are participating in the business of the court or tribunal);
  • Staff within SCTS or COPFS offices, Defence Agents accommodation or in the office spaces for staff of other organisations based in our premises where, robust physical distancing measures are in place.

Full guidance for anyone attending our courts and tribunal buildings at this time is provided at Guidance for Courts and Tribunals Users during Coronavirus.

SCTS Chief Executive Eric McQueen said:

“The SCTS remains committed to protecting the health and safety of all those who need to attend court and tribunal premises.

“In order to reduce the risk of infection spread, we are strongly advising all users and visitors to our buildings, to wear a face covering to protect themselves and others. This will help us minimise the risk for those who are required to attend court or tribunal hearings. 

“It is important to note that face coverings do not replace the requirement for physical distancing, and a 2metre rule continues to be in place, in line with government guidelines.”  

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