Courts loosening COVID-19 restrictions

New York News

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) — Several restrictions that were put in place for courts over the last year have been lifted this week.

On Wednesday, New York’s court system changed its mask policy for vaccinated judges, lawyers, and others visiting courts statewide. Proof of vaccination status lets people enter court facilities without completing a health screening or wearing a face mask.

A pass must be worn at all times. This changes is a response to new COVID infections among staff members reportedly remain low in New York’s court system.

In Massachusetts, capacity limits and physical distancing inside a state courthouse are no longer required as of Monday. However, masks are still mandatory when inside a courthouse. COVID-19 screenings will also still occur when entering the building.

Massachusetts courts are still allowed to conduct virtual proceedings in civil and criminal cases if needed. A party may request for a proceeding to be conducted virtually but a judge or clerk-magistrate scheduled to preside the case must approve.

People that have tested positive, awaiting test results, or show symptoms of COVID will not be allowed inside Massachusetts courthouses. If someone with a scheduled appointment is unable to enter the building, they are asked to contact their lawyer for assistance or to call the clerk’s office.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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