COVID-19: Law courts to reopen but only half of courtrooms will be used

The law courts are set to resume functioning on Friday but mitigation measures will be introduced to minimise the number of people inside the building at any one time

The law courts will reopen for business on Friday but restrictions will limit the number of people inside the building at any one time
The law courts will reopen for business on Friday but restrictions will limit the number of people inside the building at any one time

Only half of the courtrooms will be utilised when the law courts reopen for business on Friday, MaltaToday has learnt.

The measure is one of several mitigation procedures being discussed to ensure fewer people are inside the court building to minimise the risk of COVID-19 spread.

Another measure will limit the number of people inside each courtroom to ensure adequate social distancing is in place.

MaltaToday is informed that a meeting was held on Monday between Justice Minister Edward Zammit Lewis, the court’s administration, the association representing the judiciary and the chamber of advocates to discuss the mitigation measures.

The law courts are expected to reopen on Friday as more restrictions are lifted. The announcement on which restrictions will be lifted is expected tonight.

“An analysis of the size of courtrooms is being carried out to determine the number of people who can be inside at any one time so that proper social distancing can be maintained,” sources close to the talks told MaltaToday.

Social distancing will also have to be observed in the corridors and other common areas.

Another measure will be the introduction of appointments for each case so that people are not left waiting in the corridors.

 “Court work will be staggered so that the number of people inside the court building is kept under control in line with health and safety guidelines,” the sources added.

More talks between the stakeholders are expected over the coming days.

The law courts were closed in March as part of widespread measures introduced by the health authorities to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Restrictions started being lifted gradually at the start of May and a fresh batch of restrictions are expected to be withdrawn on Friday. 

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