Covid-19

Information on the Inn's response in relation to the Covid-19 virus (Coronavirus) will be regularly updated on this page.

This page was last updated on 9 November 2020 

In line with the government announcement planning New National Restrictions from 5 November, we have amended the Inn’s current service. Details of these changes can be found in the News item of 3 November and our current service below.

All measures will be kept under review and in line with government guidance as it develops. The information below summarises the measures we are now having to take.

The safety of our Members, staff and visitors is our top priority and we remind all to follow Public Health England’s guidance. 

Updates to our response will be published on our website and social media and we will notify our Members directly where possible. 

On this page:

Contact us 

We will continue to support our Members, and you can still get in touch with us by email and on the phone, however, please note that it may take a little longer than usual for us to respond to queries during this period due to amended working patterns for our staff.

If you're not sure who to get in touch with, please email enquiries to our general Gray's Inn inbox and one of our team will get back to you.

If you have arranged an essential visit to one of our offices, please complete the Inn's Covid-19 Visitor Questionnaire.

NHS Test and Trace 

The Inn is displaying the official NHS COVID-19 app QR Code throughout the Estate 

All visitors must scan this code with their mobile device on entrance to help to slow the spread of the virus, reduce the impact of the second wave, and help normal life to resume more quickly.

Covid-19 Risk Assesment 

The following tools are intending to support all businesses keep people safe from the risk of COVID19 when returning to work. 

The tools have been created by a team of Health & Safety experts from Frankham Risk Management Services Ltd.

Accommodation

The following includes the measures we have implemented in order to mitigate the risks of COVID-19 and keep our guests safe during their stay with us and whilst using our facilities.

Covid-19 Emergency Fund Appeal 

A Covid-19 Emergency Fund Appeal has been launched on behalf of the Barristers' Benevolent Association and the Inns for members of the Bar adversely affected by Covid-19 and the closure of the courts. All four Inns have contributed generously to this appeal and those eligible for their support should visit the BBA website for more details. 

Donations can also be made via the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) and Just Giving.

Your donation could make a very real difference. 

Press release 

Read the press release on behalf of the Inns of Court released 9 April 2020 and a letter from the Treasurer, The Rt Hon. Sir Stephen Irwin on 10 April, providing a fuller explanation of what the Inn is doing and the reasons behind it. 

Gray’s Inn Hardship Working Group  

The Management Committee is acutely aware of the pressures presently faced by very many barristers and their Chambers, and also of the difficulties which will arise, particularly for some.

We have established a Hardship Working Group chaired by the Vice Treasurer which will consider all requests for support from tenants, residents and those members of the Inn who have not ‘held a brief’ and are thus not entitled to be included within the BBA scheme (e.g. Pupils and students). Please note that individuals who are eligible for support from the BBA cannot apply to the Inn’s Hardship Working Group and must request support from the BBA. All four Inns have contributed generously to the BBA’s Emergency Fund Appeal in order to support the Bar at and the Working Group’s efforts are for those who are ineligible for BBA support or tenants and residents of the Inn.

Before you apply please ensure the following:

  • That you provide all the required information, especially financial, in as much detail as possible. A number of applications have been unsuccessful as the information provided has simply not been logically laid out, comprehensive and clear enough for a decision to be made and while a re-application can be made, this obviously takes time to write and for the HWG to review.  
  • That the specific impact of COVID-19 upon you and your finances is made apparent. The funds available via the HWG are not for those facing general financial challenges (even if these have been accrued in pursuit of a career at the Bar) but for those explicitly impacted by the pandemic and its effects.
  • That you understand that all other routes of finance must be explored before an application is made to the Inn and this shown on the form. Due to the many other calls upon our financial resources at this time the funds from the HWG are those of ‘last resort’.
  • That the sum/s you are requesting are directly related to demonstrable need now or in the very immediate future.
  • That for student members the purpose of the HWG is not to fund an applicant’s studies generally, but to be able to provide limited support to allow them to continue to study.

The HWG is ready to award funds but to do this applications must clearly demonstrate need generated by the pandemic. By demonstrating and evidencing this an applicant will be in a stronger position to receive a positive response and you may find it helpful to treat the form as a piece of written advocacy. Please be assured that all applications are treated in the strictest of confidence, so you can be candid in the form and information provided.

Identifiers such as name, sex, age, etc, are removed from the forms before the Hardship Working Group reviews them to help ensure the process is as fair as possible to all applicants.

Read the Terms of Reference (PDF) for all three groups and additional details below:

Support and Wellbeing 

Members can continue to get involved with the Inn, complete key Qualifying Sessions remotely and access documents from the Library. 

We understand this is a worrying time. If you need support or to talk to someone, you are not alone.

The Preacher is available to listen, in complete confidence. Email Bishop Michael Doe and he will send you his home phone number.

The Bar Council's Wellbeing at the Bar website is also a valuable resource, offering a confidential telephone support and counselling service, as well as a wide range of wellbeing fact sheets, videos, self-help programmes, interactive tools and educational resources.

Scholarships and Joining 

You can contact the the Education Department with any queries regarding scholarships and admission to the Inn.

Current service 

  • The Estate is operating 24/7 security and The Porters’ Lodge can now be found in the new building – One Gray’s Inn (19/21 High Holborn). 
  • Our Reception desk is open for essential visits from 8.30am to 4.30pm.
  • No deliveries should be made to the Inn other than for essential items.
  • Inn Events* until December 2020 are being held online. Where this is not possible, small socially distanced events have been arranged or the events have been cancelled.
    Please
    check our events pages for details. 
    *
    Banqueting are hosting and taking bookings for Covid Secure Events such as weddings, corporate meetings and filming. Gray’s Inn is certified as ‘Good to Go’ by Visit England. 
  • The pedestrian entrance from High Holborn (by the Cittie of Yorke) is open daily from 6am until midnight. Access and egress via this gate will be available on demand through the night. The pedestrian gates at Warwick Court, Fulwood Place and Jockeys Field will be closed but the pedestrian gate by Matrix/Verulam will remain open.
  • Vehicular access to the Inn enters 19/21 High Holborn gate and exits through Gray’s Inn Square onto Gray’s Inn Road. Oversize vehicles will still be permitted to access through the Gray’s Inn Square gate by prior arrangement. The Paddock gates will remain closed other than for service vehicles.
  • Car parking: A concession to barrister and commercial tenants of two free car parking places for key staff will run from 1st October 2020 to 31st December 2020. Annual passes, which are charged at a discount from the daily parking rate, can be purchased at a pro-rata cost for the remainder of the year.
  • The Library is open to members each week Monday - Friday 10am to 4pm. Library staff also provide a remote enquiry and document supply service to members, the charge for this service has been waived until further notice. Please contact the Library by email between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday.  Please refer to the Library page for up to date information, details of Saturday openings and available services, including details on the online textbooks available for Gray’s Inn members. Please refer to the other Inn libraries directly for their weekly opening hours and details of document supply and/or other services.
  • The Education Department is open with staff in the office on a rota basis. They are working to deliver Qualifying Sessions online, handling applications to join the Inn and applications for Scholarships and other key services. Please contact Education by email.
    We aim to deliver all forthcoming Qualifying Sessions on the date and time scheduled for those registered, however they will be delivered remotely. Refunds will be arranged for cancelled events and for Qualifying Sessions which no longer have the collegiate element.
  • The Chapel can be accessed upon request for quiet contemplation (please contact one of our security staff for access) and certain services. However, no services will be taking place until after 02 December they will be on Zoom.
  • The Walks are closed to the public. Residents are asked to respect the guidance given by Government concerning social distancing.
  • Accommodation is closed until 02 December.
  • The Burghley Lounge will remain closed but external requests for filming will be assessed on a case by case basis.
  • Hall Lunch buffet and the Bridge Bar are closed until further notice.
  • Cleaning of communal areas will continue.

Please check our Events pages for updates on individual events. Where possible, we will reschedule some events to a later date.