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Court sittings lasting more than two hours to resume from Friday

The Courts Service received health advice that said limiting court sittings to two hours will have no effect on the spread of coronavirus.

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Full physical court sittings will resume from Friday (PA)

Full physical court sittings will resume from Friday (PA)

Full physical court sittings will resume from Friday (PA)

Full physical court sittings will resume from Friday, the Courts Service has said.

The service received advice from a medical expert who does not recommend a two-hour limit to physical court sittings on infection prevention grounds.

The Chief Justice, the Hon Mr Justice Frank Clarke, had announced on Wednesday that all physical court sittings are to be limited to two hours daily.

However, the deputy chief medical officer said meetings lasting longer than two hours are not barred under coronavirus guidance for workplaces.

There have been moves by the Dail and Ireland’s courts to use that timeframe in restricting the length of sittings and hearings.

In a statement, the Courts Service said they have received advice from consultant microbiologist Professor Martin Cormican who does not recommend this measure on infection prevention and control grounds.

Prof Cormican said he has not been able to identify any public health or infection prevention and control recommendation to prospectively limit people being in the same room at work to a period of less than two hours in a 24-hour period.

He said such a practice is likely to make no material difference to the current risk of acquiring Covid-19 provided good workplace controls on presenting to work when ill and good hygiene are in place.

He said some groups may wish to implement this limit for this purpose but he does not see that as primarily an infection prevention and control issue.

“This is not likely to arise with any frequency at the moment given the low incidence of diagnosed infection,” he said.

PA