The Arkansas Supreme Court on Thursday said courts around the state can do away with the practice of holding hearings remotely that had been imposed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

In November 2020, the court said if any attorney, party, witness or a member of their family or household has an underlying medical condition that places them at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19, they may choose to participate remotely, preferably by video conference in a court proceeding and no further explanation is necessary.

In the order Thursday, the Supreme Court said the remote participation is no longer necessary because of the downward trend of COVID-19 cases .

“Therefore, effective immediately, requests for remote participation shall be resolved through a return to the case-by-case exercise of judicial discretion,” the order said.

The order also provided that the justice building, which had been closed to the public since March 19, 2020, has reopened to conduct in-person business.