The Department for Transport has confirmed that barristers, or anyone else required to take part in a hearing, can break quarantine after returning from a non-exempt country. Anyone participating in a face-to-face hearing is now allowed to attend, even if they have recently returned from a country requiring 14 days self-isolation. They must then continue with the remainder of their quarantine period.
The list of quarantine-exempt countries is ever-changing, as the Government monitors the COVID-19 situation worldwide and adjusts the list accordingly. These moving goalposts make it difficult for anyone travelling to guarantee they won’t have to quarantine on their return (see families rushing home from France as it was removed from the exemption list).
This quarantine ‘break’ to attend court and ensure the continuation of the UK justice system is a very positive move during a hugely unsettled period.