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Short Update: on legal practitioner key workers and testing in England and Wales

FairTrialsAdmin - April 30, 2020 - COVID-19 Updates, Access to a lawyer

[Updated on 7 May]

The Ministry of Justice have confirmed that legal practitioners 'essential to the running of the justice system' fall within the category of key workers. The Law Society has provided further clarification, setting out in more detail the types of legal practitioners allowed to be classified as key workers. These categories of individuals include: advocates required to appear before a court (remotely or physically), solicitors working on the execution of wills and solicitors and barristers advising people living in institutions or deprived of their liberty. The Ministry of Justice has further confirmed that solicitors identified as key workers are eligible for Covid-19 testing.

On 5 May 2020, it is reported that the Bar Council will act as "quasi-employer" to ensure barristers are given priority in relation to Covid-19 testing.

The government's scheme allows employers to refer employees who are "essential workers" for testing at regional drive-through centres. As barristers are self-employed, they would normally need to refer themselves. The Bar Council announced that it will act as "quasi-employer", and barristers can apply for testing by completing a short form on the Bar Council's website.

We publish information as it is reported to us. If you would like to make us aware of an inaccuracy or send us more information please email us at [email protected] 

If you are a journalist interested in this story, please telephone Fair Trials’ press department on +44 (0) 20 7822 2370 or +32 (0) 2 360 04 71.

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