Courts Service drawing up ‘contingency plans’ for coronavirus court closures

Courts Service drawing up 'contingency plans' for coronavirus court closures

Contingency plans are being drawn up for the possibility of courthouses being closed due to coronavirus, Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan has said.

Mr Flanagan yesterday addressed a special sitting of the Dáil to set out preparations in the justice sector for the possibility of a COVID-19 outbreak in Ireland.

The Courts Service has established a “contingency planning group to review its plans to meet the challenges caused by the arrival of COVID-19 in Ireland”, he announced.

As of today, there are 13 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the State and three in Northern Ireland.

Mr Flanagan said: “Business continuity plans for courthouses and buildings are being updated and reviewed and official HSE guidance is now issued to staff. Communications plans are being developed for Judges, staff and court users.

“An extensive ICT contingency plan is being prepared in the event of Courts Service buildings being unavailable and the issues associated with closing services, if deemed necessary, are being examined.

“Additional sanitisation of public offices and courtrooms have been arranged and hygiene supplies for public offices and hand sanitisers for public areas will be installed in the coming days.”

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