The Chief Coroner has now issued four Guidance Notes relating to Covid-19. As part of our policy of making access to key documents matter here is a summary of each note and a link to each.
Guidance No.34: Chief Coroner’s Guidance for coroners on Covid-19 – This guidance is designed to help coroners continue to exercise their judicial decisions independently and in accordance with the law but in the context of the outbreak. The guidance goes through the practical matters that must be considered and death management issues, as well as the issue of appointing additional assistant coroners, the welfare of coroners and COVID-19 as a natural cause of death.
Guidance No.35: Hearings during the pandemic – This guidance explains that the only hearings that should be taking place in a coroner’s court during the pandemic are those which are urgent and essential business. Virtual hearings are not yet taking place. Hearings must happen with the coroner physically present and the coroner cannot be present by Skype or phone.
Guidance No.37: COVID-19 deaths and possible exposure in the workplace – This guidance explains that the vast majority of deaths from COVID-19 are due to the natural progression of a naturally occurring disease and so will not be referred to the coroner, but that there are some instances in which a COVID-19 death may be reported to the coroner. The steps that coroners’ should take in determining this are discussed.