Prisons: Coronavirus

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 12th June 2020.

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Photo of Lee Anderson Lee Anderson Conservative, Ashfield

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps his Department will take to protect prison staff from covid-19 when prison visits are resumed.

Photo of Lucy Frazer Lucy Frazer The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice

Our National Framework, which sets out how we will take decisions about easing coronavirus-related restrictions in prisons, has been published on gov.uk.

Social distancing and hygiene are the most effective means to reduce transmission and we are providing access to the right cleaning and hygiene products in prisons. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is critical to protect staff and those in our care where close contact is necessary and unavoidable. Our current PPE supplies are good, and we are making preparations and keeping demand for PPE under regular review as we progress our plans. We are consulting with unions and stakeholders on our strategy to ensure staff are confident in our gradual easing of restrictions and to keep prisoners informed.

For visits specifically, we are developing safe working practices that adhere to public health guidance. This is challenging but as with the adaptations being made in society we will need to consider safe distancing, separation between those that should not have contact, temperature testing of visitors prior to entry and effective hygiene arrangements.

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