Vancouver: Provincial courts in British Columbia are moving to a recovery plan after hearing only urgent matters because of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.

Chief Judge Melissa Gillespie announced Tuesday that the court is introducing mandatory pre-trial conferences for most adult and youth criminal trials and preliminary inquiries.

Family and small claims trials will also have go through the pre-trial conference process.

Gillespie says telephone sentencing hearings will be available for some out-of-custody matters and cases that aren’t urgent.

She says family and small claims trials will be resumed by telephone or video conference.

The courts closed down in March when provincial health officials said the number of people in courthouses needed to be minimized.

The Canadian Press