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People who test positive for corona must self-isolate. Unless they’re lawyers. Lawyers are magic.

Discussion in 'Personal' started by Ellakits, Sep 30, 2020.

  1. Ellakits

    Ellakits Lead commenter

    Unbelievable, yet all too believable at the same time.

    Lawyers who test positive for Covid-19 can have exemptions from latest regulations imposing a new legal duty to self-isolate, the Ministry of Justice confirmed today.

    Health protection regulations which came into force on Monday state that people who test positive for Covid-19 or have had close contact with someone who has tested positive for the coronavirus after 28 September must self-isolate.

    However, a person can come out of self-isolation ‘to fulfil a legal obligation, including attending court or satisfying bail conditions, or participating in legal proceedings’.

    The Gazette asked the government to confirm if lawyers, court staff or anyone required to attend court are exempt from the latest regulations.

    The Ministry of Justice said there is a longstanding exemption to allow people to participate in important court business despite lockdown measures.

    Seeking further clarification, the Gazette asked:

    • If a lawyer who tested positive for Covid-19 after 28 September would be breaking the law if they came out of self-isolation to go to court?
    • If they were informed they have to self-isolate because they have been in close contact with someone who tested positive for Covid-19 after 28 September, did the exemption mean they would not be breaking the law if they went to court?
    The Gazette was told the exemption meant lawyers would not be breaking the law in either scenario. However, the ministry highlighted guidance on going to court during the outbreak, first published in April, which states: ‘You should not go to a court or tribunal if you’re self-isolating, have symptoms of coronavirus or are extremely vulnerable. Contact your court or tribunal to let them know.’


    If I understand this correctly, a lawyer with a positive test result can go to work, but members of their household who are listed as contacts but who test negative and are not lawyers must nevertheless quarantine themselves for a fortnight.

    Who *&*&*&£* this one up?!

    Stay at home.
    Got to work.
    Stay at home, don’t stay at home.
    Go to work, don’t go to work.

    Where have I heard this before? :confused:
    agathamorse likes this.
  2. LondonCanary

    LondonCanary Star commenter

    But it isn't just lawyers according to the article, is it?
  3. Ellakits

    Ellakits Lead commenter

    Lawyers and those working for the courts service.

    I can understand the wish to bring infected defendants to court so as to either excuse or imprison them quickly, but this can be done remotely in most cases.

    What bothers me is that this exemption is in relation to people going to work, it just happens that work for them is a court room. There is a well publicised backlog of cases waiting to go to court which predates Covid-19 that the government is keen to clear, that’s probably where all this stems from.

    Worth remembering that the government are also very keen to keep schools open but that could prove tricky if lots of teachers have to self-isolate due to either positive test results or track & trace contacts. Give it a few months and it wouldn’t surprise me if the same guidance was rolled out for teachers.
    agathamorse likes this.
  4. LondonCanary

    LondonCanary Star commenter

    The backlog has become considerably longer, 500,000 due to Covid and the closure of courts. There is no change of reducing it by anything significant.The only reason it slowed is because criminals were staying home.
    agathamorse likes this.
  5. hhhh

    hhhh Star commenter

    You can just imagine how people who have had to miss urgent hospital appointments because they're self-isolating feel about this.
    I know of a doctor who couldn't work as her child was self-isolating, having been sent home from school. Is her job less important than a lawyer's?
    Not to mention those who desperately want to see loved ones in hospital or homes.
    agathamorse likes this.
  6. LondonCanary

    LondonCanary Star commenter

    I have no idea how they feel. Imagining other people's feelings is not very reliable.
    Can you see any significant differences between a court and a hospital as a workplace in times of a pandemic?
  7. Burndenpark

    Burndenpark Star commenter

    It sounds like it could be a deterrent…

    If you commit crime and get caught you'll have to spend time in a courtroom filled with Covid-riddled lawyers, and that's before there's even a verdict.
  8. Katzenjammer

    Katzenjammer Senior commenter

    London Canary wrote:
    I have no idea how they feel. Imagining other people's feelings is not very reliable. o_O
  9. Ellakits

    Ellakits Lead commenter

    Seems as though they won’t actually get that far. Apparently the court security staff have been issued with guidance which says to ask everyone entering the court if they have Covid symptoms. If they say ‘yes’ then they are not allowed to let them in!!

    Left hand, meet right hand... :confused:
    agathamorse likes this.
  10. LondonCanary

    LondonCanary Star commenter

    There's no contradiction.
  11. Ellakits

    Ellakits Lead commenter

    Ok, you’re going to have to explain how you’ve arrived at that.

    1) Guidance to lawyers is that they attend court if they test positive for Covid-19.
    2) Guidance given to court security is not to let anyone in the building who has symptoms or a confirmed case of Covid-19.

    Are they meant to address the bench from the car park??
    ajrowing likes this.
  12. LondonCanary

    LondonCanary Star commenter

    That isn't what's in your OP. It says lawyers who attend court in isolation will not be breaking the law. It does not encourage them to do so.
    The guidance is not to let anyone in with symptoms. The bit you just added in about a confirmed case is not in the words.

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