The CPS has reviewed a full year’s worth of cases charged under the coronavirus legislation.
Prosecutors checked 1,821 finalised cases under the Coronavirus Act and Health Protection Regulations between 26 March 2020 and 31 March 2021.
A total of 549 incorrect charges were identified, which were either withdrawn by prosecutors at the first court hearing or returned to the relevant CPS area to be set aside.
The CPS Compliance and Assurance Team has been reviewing completed coronavirus cases on a monthly basis since last spring to make they are being correctly charged.
Gregor McGill, CPS Director of Legal Services, said: “Prosecutors have now reviewed almost 2,000 coronavirus cases charged in the first 12 months of the pandemic, providing an invaluable public service at a time of national emergency.
“All of us in the criminal justice system have had to adapt at great speed to this fast-moving situation, with every effort made to strike a proportionate balance between protecting public safety and the interests of justice.
“The CPS has said throughout that coronavirus rule breaches should be treated as serious given the public health risks and many of these prosecutions were brought against people accused of wider offending. However, it is right that any errors are rectified as part of this review.
“We will continue to work closely with police colleagues and other partners to ensure a consistent interpretation of these laws for as long as they remain in place.”