NEWPORT Crown Court is in lockdown after it is believed one of the defendants attending had shown symptoms of coronavirus.

It closed all of its three court rooms this morning and neighbouring Cardiff Crown Court, which has nine courts and also deals with a heavy caseload of Gwent prosecutions, is now also shut.

Both courts will also not be sitting tomorrow.

A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Justice said it was at the discretion of each individual court if it should remain open or not.

Gwent also has magistrates' courts in Newport and Cwmbran.

Newport Magistrates' Court will be open tomorrow to hear overnight cases and remand hearings.


On Twitter, HM Courts & Tribunals Service said this morning: "Magistrates’ Courts will only hear urgent cases today (overnight custody & prisoner production).

“Parties involved in all other hearings should not attend court unless contacted directly. You’ll be notified of new hearing date. This situation may change quickly."

Proceedings at Newport and Blackwood Civil and Family Courts are continuing by telephone.

A spokeswoman for Newport Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, based at Langstone Business Park, said hearings outside of London “were continuing as normal”.

It is understood that administrative workers at both Newport and Cardiff Crown Courts and security staff are both still on duty.

Defendants being turned away from Newport Crown Court were handed a letter.

It read: “Note to defendant, 24th March 2020 Covid-19 Coronavirus.

“Your hearing has been adjourned (put off until another date) but the proceedings will continue.

“You will be notified of the new hearing date and time as soon as it is known.

“If you fail to surrender on time to your bail at that hearing you may suffer serious consequences:

  • You may become the subject of an arrest warrant and subsequently kept in custody
  • You may commit a separate offence punishable by imprisonment and/or a fine
  • You may be tried in your absence. If you are tried in your absence your lawyers may pull out of the case and you will not be able to exercise your right to give evidence at your trial
  • If convicted, you may be sentenced in your absence to a term of imprisonment and other orders which affect you may be made.

If you have bail conditions, then those still apply. If you break a condition of bail, then you may be arrested and kept in custody until the case finishes.

What to do next:

  • Make sure that the court and your solicitor has up to date contact information for you
  • Keep in contact with your legal team
  • Turn up on time at the next hearing
  • Make sure that you comply with any bail conditions.

By order of the court

A notice in the listings administrative office at Cardiff Crown Court said: “Due to the outbreak of coronavirus, all our counters are closed to the public until further notice.”