The Court will continue to function, but will do so with certain safety precautions, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This is according to a memorandum circulating among all relevant and related parties and individuals, following the conclusion of a meeting of Magistrates, Prosecutors, Private Bar and Prisons.
During a sitting of the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court on Monday, Senior Magistrate Rickie Burnett outlined that the wearing of face masks is now mandatory, and persons entering the courtroom, including Magistrates, will be subjected to hand sanitization and temperature checks.
Physical and social distancing will continue, and there is to be no more than ten persons in the Court room at any given time.
These will include the Magistrate, prosecutor/s, defence lawyers, magistrate clerk, and police clerk(s).
“I can’t throw out the press, because they are working,” he said, but he added that sometimes, in the interest of space, some police officers as well as lawyers may have to wait outside.
He said windows should be kept open for proper ventilation, as advised by the medical professionals.
In Burnett’s Court, lawyers would be allowed to take off their jackets, if they are hot, and he indicated that he too will be doing that, if need be.