In response to the rising number of Covid-19 infections and the fast spreading Omicron variant of Covid, the federal courts in some parts of the United States has decided to impose new vaccine and masking requirements or reducing the in-person court proceedings and trials in January.
The federal courts from New York to California are avoiding closing the doors entirely as they did in the beginning of the year 2020, when the States had imposed business lockdowns and stay-at home orders.
The Chief U.S. District Judge James Bredar called the Omicron variant “an impediment to recovery”. He announced new restrictions and the postponed the jury selection until Jan 25.
“The Court had already re-implemented virtual hearings for some cases, those steps were “insufficient to fully mitigate the risks posed by the present circumstances.”
From Monday onwards, all the courts will require anyone in its courthouses to wear N95 or KN95 masks.
The San Francisco based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in a Tuesday order said staff and attorneys appearing in-person will have to get their booster to meet a previously imposed vaccination requirement.
The U.S. Court on Wednesday revised its safety protocols and mandated that everyone regardless of vaccination status present a negative Covid-19 test to attend hearings.