In response to the announcement made by HMCTS that a second rapid testing pilot is to start at Southwark Crown Court, Chair of the Bar Council, Derek Sweeting QC, said:

“With the backlog of cases growing, testing is a crucial part of getting the justice system fully back up and running whilst giving confidence to court users that safety remains paramount. The announcement that rapid coronavirus testing will begin at a second location is a cautious yet positive step forward. But we question why more pilots are necessary to verify a scheme that is clearly sorely needed. We urge HMCTS to implement widespread rapid testing in courts across England and Wales sooner rather than later to help ensure the safety of all court users.”