Covid-19: Prisons

Part of Justice – in the House of Commons on 27th April 2020.

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Photo of Robert Buckland Robert Buckland The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice

My hon. Friend knows that prison staff were made a priority by my colleague the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, and I am grateful to him for that. That of course includes probation staff. In addition, HMPPS was invited to use some of the available NHS testing capacity for our prison and approved premises staff, and that is prior to the full roll-out plan. Over the past two weeks, we have referred more than 2,000 staff for testing, to which hundreds have already had direct access. We will continue to work with DHSC to ensure that all our key workers have access to testing of all appropriate types as the weeks go ahead. Recalling the question by Mr Lammy, that will, I hope, extend to prisoners, too, when we have that capacity.