Visiting regime radically revised to reduce risk
Prisoners in Portlaoise and other jails will get Christmas and New Year visits.
The Irish Prison Service has announced arrangements have been made to facilitate one visit per prisoner from the December 16 to January 6.
The service says visits will be limited to two persons per prisoner (2 adults or 1 adult and one child). Prisoners will also continue to have access to their Video Visits.
"We have created a new video for families and friends on our website Click Here. The video is a tutorial of what to expect when connecting to a video visit. This new video is available on our website, including “How to guides”. These arrangements will be reviewed on 06th January 2021 in line with Government’s Plan for Living With Covid-19.
"The Irish Prison Service would like to reassure families and friends that we are doing everything within our power to ensure family contact is maintained. An additional phone call has be granted per day for the period from 16th December 2020 to 6th January 2021.
"No property or cash will be accepted on visits. All packages and cards are required to be received by the prison no later than 10th December for quarantining and security screening purposes.
When visiting a prison, you will be subject to Covid-19 screening procedure and should not to attend a prison if you are symptomatic, been in contact with a person who has gone for testing or is a confirmed case or has been abroad in the preceding 14 days. We appreciate your co-operation and understanding and look forward to the reintroduction of physical visits in our prisons as soon as it is deemed safe to do so.
"We would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Happy Christmas and prosperous New Year," concluded the statement.
Prisons have been largely protected from the Covid-19 virus thanks to work by health staff, prison officers, prisoners and management.
However, this has required significant curtailment and changes to prison visits.