The High Court Enforcement Officers Association (HCEOA) has recommended that its members introduce regular rapid lateral flow testing for their enforcement agents to ensure the health and safety of both enforcement agents and the wider public.

While rapid lateral flow testing is not a legal requirement for enforcement agents, the Association feels that it is the responsible action to take for any agent visiting commercial or, when visits are permitted later in the summer, residential properties.

In 2020 the HCEOA produced a post-lockdown plan, entitled “A Flexible and Sympathetic Approach to Enforcement”, setting out the principles, working practices and behaviours that all High Court Enforcement Officers (HCEOs) and representatives are following throughout the phased lifting of the lockdown period.

Andrew Wilson, Chairman of the High Court Enforcement Officers Association, said: “Throughout the pandemic, our members have been following the letter of the law and practising flexible and responsible enforcement. This includes providing additional training to all enforcement agents, the provision of protective equipment, and maintaining strict 2m social distancing, as well as other additional measures in line with current government guidance.

“While we are awaiting details on when residential visits can resume, commercial visits are still taking place. It is the recommendation of the Board that our members begin to undertake regular rapid lateral flow testing as a precautionary measure and to provide reassurance to those they meet.”

The High Court Enforcement Officers Association represents members across England and Wales, who received over 120,335 Writs in 2019 collecting just under £116m in outstanding judgment debt on behalf of creditors.

High Court enforcement activity is being undertaken in an appropriate, flexible and sensitive manner that reflects the challenges we are all facing as a result of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

The Association has developed a best practice Covid-19 plan.

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