Jury duty, panicking as not allowed to wear mask

(70 Posts)
KatyS36 Mon 21-Dec-20 22:00:22

Hello,

I've just been summoned for jury duty. Reading the information we're not allowed to wear masks in the court room.
I'm in a total panic, this sounds like absolute madness. We're about to go into lock down, there's a new mutation with increased transmission risk, and I have to be inside with strangers and not wear a mask.
I'm suffered massively with anxiety since the start of covid. I'm coped with the help of a therapist and by being very cautious as to where I go, I can work from home and have introvert tendencies, so this has been okay.
This has thrown me though and I simply don't think I can cope.

OP’s posts: |
nocoolnamesleft Mon 21-Dec-20 22:03:33

That would scare me. I'm clinically vulnerable, and the only way I've managed to stay remotely sane is knowing that my mask discipline is impeccable.

N0tfinished Mon 21-Dec-20 22:10:19

Write back & ask to be excused. There'll probably a form in the letter you received. Cite health anxiety etc. I've asked to be excused in the past as my DS2 has SEN and I'm his carer. No-one in family can relieve me. I've never had a problem.

KatyS36 Mon 21-Dec-20 22:10:48

Thanks. Same re mask wearing. I'm met friends, but explained I'm really anxious and can only cope meeting outdoors and being neurotic about staying 2m apart. Everyone has been really lovely. I've kind of made it work for me if that makes sense.
I've got a special needs child and our family would break if I had to spend 2 weeks self isolating.

OP’s posts: |
Sway19 Mon 21-Dec-20 22:19:16

That’s a piss take OP! Just tell them no!

rollinggreenhills Mon 21-Dec-20 22:22:42

I've just had a look on the Gov website under jury service, and on there they say that all the buildings are covid secure and social distancing measures are being maintained.

There's loads of information on how they are actually achieving it, so have a look.

Gilead Mon 21-Dec-20 22:24:10

If you have a child with additional needs you can be excused.

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ZZTopGuitarSolo Mon 21-Dec-20 22:30:39

www.gov.uk/guidance/keeping-court-and-tribunal-buildings-safe-secure-and-clean

Wear a face covering

Court and tribunal users must wear a face covering in all public and communal parts of our buildings in England and Wales. You can ask a member of staff for a face covering if you need one, though we request that you bring your own.

You do not need to wear a face covering if you have a practical reason (exemption) not to. For example:

you have disability or health issue that makes it difficult
wearing one will cause you severe distress
a deaf person you support needs to read your lips
you are eating, drinking or taking medicine.

Children under the age of 11 (in England and Wales) do not need to wear a face covering.

If you have a reason why you cannot wear a face covering, you may find it helpful to wear a lanyard with an exemption card or to carry an exemption card with you. Exemption cards are available to download on GOV.UK, or see our HMCTS example exemption card (PDF, 140KB, 1 page).

You may be asked to temporarily remove your face covering for identification purposes. If you are presenting evidence in the courtroom, the judge or magistrate may also ask you to take your face covering off temporarily. If you need to communicate with someone who relies on lip reading, facial expressions and clear sound, they may ask you to take your face covering off.

Diverseduvet Mon 21-Dec-20 22:33:38

Asked to be excused. Your request is unlikely to be refused, although they will ask for evidence from your G.P

Fieldofyellowflowers Mon 21-Dec-20 22:36:31

Can you not defer for 12 months?

I got called up to do jury duty. I spent two days sat in a waiting room waiting to picked for a trial. At the end of the 2nd day, I was told that I wasn't needed anymore due to most of the upcoming trials having guilty pleas. This isn't uncommon apparently so maybe that will be the case for you too.

Imonlyhereforthisthread Mon 21-Dec-20 22:38:01

Ring the court and check OP. This doesn't sound right at all. I have been working with the courts until recently. Granted witnesses and defendants, not jurors. We have been advised masks are compulsory, the same as any other building now and we tell people to wear marks to attend court.

Inside the court, they are vert strict on social distancing. The judge cancelled a trial because there was one person too many in the court room. Jurors are socially distanced which might be why you don't need to wear a mask. Our court is a massive old one, and a trial takes up three court rooms, one room for witnesses, one room for defendants and one room for Jurors, with everything being done over Skype, so people can be socially distanced properly. They are very hot on it.

Ring the court and ask them. There should be someone there to explain it all to you.

megletthesecond Mon 21-Dec-20 22:38:31

I would not accept that. It's inside therefore it's not "covid secure".

KatyS36 Mon 21-Dec-20 22:38:46

Thanks everyone. Dd has formal diagnosis so hopefully that will do the trick.
Thanks for posting the info. Thing is face masks are mandatory in communal areas, but when you read the detail they are not allowed in the actual courtroom where you'll be spending hours each day.
Thanks again, feeling less along now xx

OP’s posts: |
BananaPop2020 Mon 21-Dec-20 22:39:45

I work in a Crown Court and the social distancing inside the Court room is excellent. There are also plexiglass screens between Jurors. Please don’t worry.

Mischance Mon 21-Dec-20 22:43:18

Has the courtroom maybe got screens between jurors? If not then this is madness - I find it hard to believe.

seag Mon 21-Dec-20 22:44:50

Hi,I was called for jury duty just as the courts were opening after the first lockdown.Same thing-no masks allowed in the actual courtroom.I called and said I was unhappy/to anxious to do this and they excused me immediately

BananaPop2020 Mon 21-Dec-20 22:44:54

Yes it has

callistography Mon 21-Dec-20 22:46:11

This is ridiculous and highly unreasonable for them to tell you this. Surely it's not a breach of human rights? You have the right to protect yourself and cannot be forced otherwise.

Fieldofyellowflowers Mon 21-Dec-20 22:46:15

@KatyS36

Hopefully you'll be allowed to be excused. I'm guessing you got paperwork from the court. It should explain what to do if jury service is unfeasible for you.

Nomorepies Mon 21-Dec-20 22:46:36

OP don't worry, since Covid the jurors all sit very far apart in court. And in the jury room they sit between screens with the windows open.

ofwarren Mon 21-Dec-20 22:48:32

My mum got excused due to being a carer for my disabled brother. She didn't even have to send documents.

VienneseWhirligig Mon 21-Dec-20 22:51:33

I did jury service recently. We were told we didn't have to wear masks (and the arrangements were covid secure, I felt safe and didn't catch it despite it being a 5 week trial) but we could if we really wanted to. I would contact the jury clerk at the court and ask whether you are able to wear one. However if the court is anything like the one I was at, distancing is observed really strictly, we were seated all round the room and 3 courts were in use for the one trial so that everyone could be separated.

Veterinari Mon 21-Dec-20 22:51:49

callistography

This is ridiculous and highly unreasonable for them to tell you this. Surely it's not a breach of human rights? You have the right to protect yourself and cannot be forced otherwise.


It's not a 'breach of Hunan rights' hmm

Oddly enough the courts are actually applying the law and making courtrooms covid secure in ways which are far more effective than a single layer of poorly woven fabric could ever be.

mawbroon Mon 21-Dec-20 22:53:25

I did it a month ago. The jury sat in a cinema with a two way video link to the courtroom.
There were 15 jurors, one guy looking after us and the guy doing the tech in a cinema that held probably around 200 folk. We was loads of room. I was jealous of the ones who got the premium seats 😆
I suspect this set up is only in Scotland though.

BananaPop2020 Mon 21-Dec-20 22:54:08

@callistography don’t be ridiculous.

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