Update from Inquiry Chair on arrangements to address Covid-19:
Since the start of the pandemic, I have been determined that the Brook House Inquiry progresses with as much pace as is possible to minimise the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Inquiry’s timetable. Inevitably, however, the pandemic has unavoidably had some impact on the Inquiry’s work and remains a consideration as we approach the first phase of our hearings, commencing on 23 November 2021.
It remains the case that I do not want to risk the health and wellbeing of those who would want to attend the hearings, including Core Participants, witnesses and their legal representatives and all other interested parties. The Inquiry will continue to take account of Government public health guidance in deciding how to progress each stage of its business.
However, it remains my intention to hold hearings in person, so far as possible.
The Inquiry will take the following steps to mitigate the impact of COVID-19:
All future hearings, whether held virtually or in person, will be streamed live on the Inquiry’s YouTube channel. Transcripts of the days’ hearings, determinations and further information will be published on the Inquiry’s website. Updates regarding the inquiry and key dates will be posted on the Inquiry’s Twitter page and the Inquiry’s website.
Our hearings will take place at the International Dispute Resolution Centre, 1 Paternoster Lane, London EC4M 7BQ, near St Paul’s Cathedral in London. The venue requires all visitors to their building to complete a Covid-19 form on arrival. We encourage you to download this form, complete it and bring it with you to save time at Reception and avoid congestion in this area when you attend a hearing.
During the hearings we request that visitors to the Inquiry, including Core Participants, witnesses and their legal representatives, and members of the public, please consider wearing masks in our public areas unless they have a medical exemption. Witnesses will not be required to wear a mask while giving evidence. Hand sanitiser will be available throughout our venue and there will be signposting in place to assist movement between areas.
Everyone attending the Brook House Inquiry regularly is asked to carry out a lateral flow test on the Sunday night or Monday morning of each week before coming to the IDRC and a further test on the Wednesday of each week. Information on how to obtain free lateral flow tests is available on the NHS Covid-19 information pages.
Space at the hearings will be limited due to the need to ensure social distancing. Members of the public, including the press, wishing to attend the hearings should book up to 24 hours in advance in one of two ways – either by email to the Inquiry team at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone to 0800 181 4363. If telephoning, please leave a message on the voicemail with your name and a contact telephone number. Places can be booked up to 24hrs ahead.