Covid certs won't be needed for prison visits for now, but review underway 

Some restrictions around prison visits are being lifted this week.
Covid certs won't be needed for prison visits for now, but review underway 

From Monday, inmates are now entitled to have one family visit per fortnight, of up to 30 minutes long.Picture: Eddie O'Hare

VISITORS to prisons will not have to produce a Covid vaccine passport – but a review of this is currently underway.

That is according to the Irish Prison Service, as some restrictions around prison visits are being lifted this week.

From Monday, inmates are now entitled to have one family visit per fortnight, of up to 30 minutes long. Prisoners are also being granted a 20-minute video visit per fortnight.

According to the Irish Prison Service, physical visits are limited to two adults and one child under 18. Children must be accompanied by at least one adult.

A statement from the Irish Prison Service said: “In order to prevent the potential spread of infection all visits will be behind Perspex screens. Both prisoners and visitors will be required to wear a prison-issued face mask at all times. No physical contact between prisoners and family members will be permitted.” 

The statement added: “Visitors will not be required to produce a vaccination certificate or a certificate of recovery on entry to prison. However, this measure is currently under review.” 

The Irish Prison Service says that no money can be given to prisoners during visits.

The statement said: “Visitors should continue to use the electronic means of sending money. In addition, there will be no exchange of prisoner property on visits. We will continue to keep this under review.” 

Restrictions on family visits were introduced in March 2020 to help limit the spread of Covid-19 within the prison population, with some restrictions lifted at different times during the pandemic.

Throughout 2020, an average of 1,800 virtual family visits took place across the estate on a weekly basis when physical visits were not available.

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