Manchester Crown Court closed after staff members test positive for Covid-19

Manchester Crown Court has been forced to closed after three staff members tested positive for coronavirus over the weekend.

It comes after the court in Crown Square was closed for a deep clean on Thursday morning after a person tested positive for the virus.

A Ministry of Justice (MoJ) spokesman said the court is scheduled to reopen on Tuesday and “as many hearings as possible” were moved to Minshull Crown Court across the city.

He said: “Manchester Crown Court is being deep cleaned today after three people working there tested positive for Covid-19 at the weekend.

“We are following public health guidelines to ensure the safety of all court users and the site is due to reopen tomorrow.”

The three positive tests over the weekend are in addition to the positive test reported on Thursday, the MoJ said.

Some 159 HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) locations remained open throughout the pandemic, and more opened their doors in recent weeks for socially-distanced hearings, with court users advised to wear a face covering.

Courts have been using technology to carry out virtual hearings and 10 emergency “Nightingale courts” were set up as part of efforts to clear the growing backlog of criminal cases.

According to HMCTS, Manchester Crown Court resumed jury trials on July 6.