27 May 2022

Although prison visitors do not usually have to take Covid tests anymore, prisons sometimes need to bring back testing temporarily if there is a Covid outbreak.

If this happens, visitors aged 12 and over will be asked to take a test when they arrive at the prison. Testing is voluntary, and the prison will provide test kits for free.

If you take a test and the result is positive, you will not be allowed to enter the prison. This is to help protect everyone inside.

If you do not want to take a test, the prison will let you have the visit but with restrictions: Physical contact will not be allowed, you may be asked to wear a face covering, and you may need to follow social distancing rules.

We know how important it is to you to have visits. We also know that free tests are no longer available in the community. Because of this, we will let you know as soon as possible if testing needs to be reintroduced because of a Covid outbreak.

We will update individual prison pages on gov.uk with the latest visits testing information. Some prisons will update their social media accounts with the latest information. Staff who run visits booking services will also be able to tell you and your loved ones in prison is testing has been temporarily brought back.

We still ask that people showing symptoms or who have recently been in contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid do not come to the prison until these subside.

The symptoms are available on Gov.UK: COVID-19: people with COVID-19 and their contacts - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

If a visit does need to be cancelled for any of these reasons, there are other ways to stay in touch such as secure social video calls, letters and telephone calls. Any visits that can’t take place will be re-booked at the earliest opportunity.

Staying in touch with someone in prison: Letters, video and telephone calls - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)