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 05 January 2021

Details of our current service in line with the new national restrictions can be found 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, 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 on a limited basis for essential visits from 8.30am to 4.30pm
  • No deliveries should be made to the Inn other than for essential items
  • Inn Events* are being held online. Where this is not possible, the events have been cancelled. Please check our events pages for details. *Banqueting and Other events are not currently allowed under the new national restrictions.  Future bookings for Covid Secure Events such as weddings, corporate meetings and filming can be taken and will be subject to Covid restrictions on the date of the event. Gray’s Inn is certified as ‘Good to Go’ by Visit England
  • The pedestrian & vehicular access with effect from 8pm, Tuesday 5th January Gray’s Inn will close all entrances and only permit entry into Gray’s Inn for both vehicles and pedestrians via the main entrance at High Holborn. Exit for vehicles will continue to be via the exit within Gray’s Inn Square. Access into The Inn will be restricted to staff, residents, tenants and members of chambers only (including cleaners, contractors and deliveries). The “general public” will not be allowed to enter The Inn during this period of tighter restrictions
  • Car parking A concession to barrister and commercial tenants of two free car parking places for key staff is available under the new national restrictions. Annual passes, which are charged at a discount from the daily parking rate, can be purchased or renewed at a pro-rata cost for the remainder of the year
  • The Library will operate a remote service as during the first lockdown in March 2020. Please email the Library for general enquiries or make a document supply request. The document supply service remains free of charge until further notice. Please note we will give priority to requests made for the purpose of judicial proceedings. Members are also asked not to send the same request to more than one Inn Library. If the Library does not hold an item staff will advise where it can be obtained. Thank you for your co-operation. Please refer to the Library page for details on the online textbooks available for Gray’s Inn members and access to the law reports via ICLR Online
  • The Education Department will work to deliver Qualifying Sessions online, handling applications to join the Inn, 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 services will take place 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 the end of February 2021
  • The Burghley Lounge is closed until Easter
  • 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.