Sat. Feb 27th, 2021

MANILA – The Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday issued guidelines aimed at limiting the number of visitors to courts in the country amid the coronavirus 2019 (Covid-19) outbreak.

In Administrative Circular No. 26-2020, Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta said only those with official business in the courts will be allowed to enter.

“All those entering the halls of justice must be subjected to a no-contact thermal scanning, and those found to be suffering from fever, flu, colds, and cough shall be prevented from entering,” read the circular.

Court visitors are also required to fill up a declaration form indicating both local and foreign travel history and current health condition.

Misrepresentations in the declaration form make the declarant liable for falsification, the circular said.

Courts must be properly ventilated and sanitized daily especially frequently-touched fixtures.

Meanwhile, all non-essential meetings and gatherings must be reset while persons deprived of liberty who have hearings must be brought back to their detention facilities immediately after court proceedings.

Executive and presiding judges are also ordered to monitor their respective personnel and workplaces and immediately report to the Office of the Court Administrator any developments regarding Covid-19.

“The Office of the Chief Justice is closely monitoring the situation nationwide. Further advisories shall be issued as may be deemed fit,” the SC statement said. (PNA)

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