Updated Wednesday 15 July
I am delighted that, from Monday 27 July, we are able to once again offer social visits for our residents for the first time since the national lockdown was implemented back in March (we are not able to offer reception visits). We understand how important it is for you to be able to see one another and for children to see their parents. This is something that we have worked very hard to prepare for, ensuring that we have all of the appropriate safeguards and measures in place to keep you, your loved one and our staff safe.
There are some important changes that you need to be aware of that are a requirement of us being permitted to offer social visits. Please make sure that you read these carefully so that you know what to expect when you come to the prison.
- Visits must be booked by residents using our internal booking procedure – they will be provided with a selection of visit dates and times to choose from across a four-week period to receive one visit per calendar month. Our staff will then contact the visitors to book and confirm the visit, talking them through the changes. Visitors cannot book by calling the prison.
- Face coverings must be worn from the moment you arrive at the prison. We will provide these for you to wear; please don’t bring your own face coverings as you will need to use the one we provide to you. Some may have them with them due to public transport use, though they will still need to use the one we give them. You will need to keep the face covering on for the whole time that you are in the prison, including the duration of your visit. This is a condition of the visit taking place, so please make sure that you follow this instruction.
- When you arrive we will take your temperature using a non-contact thermometer. We will also ask you some questions to make sure that you are well and haven’t travelled from an area that is subject to a government lockdown. This is to make sure that we minimise the risk to our residents from anyone potentially coming into the prison with any Covid-19 symptoms.
- You will need to adhere to the 2 metre social distancing requirements – we have not reduced the distance within the prison in order to maintain higher levels of safeguarding for our residents.
- Visits will last for one hour – we cannot offer longer visits at this time, partly because we need to allow sufficient time for appropriate cleaning to be carried out between visits sessions.
- You will not be permitted to have any physical contact with the resident you are visiting – that includes hugging, kissing, shaking hands and so on. If anyone is seen to be breaking this rule the visit may be terminated and we want to avoid such situations.
- All visitors will need to remain seated during their visit, including children. Please bear this in mind when planning a visit to the prison.
- We don’t have any refreshments available and you can’t bring your own food or drink with you.
- There is no waiting area available in the visits centre, so please do not arrive early for your scheduled visit.
Full details of what to expect are available on our 'Visiting the prison' page.
I hope that you will understand that all of these restrictions that remain in place are to keep everyone safe and well. Although visits aren’t the same as they used to be, I know that it will mean so much for you to be able to see your loved ones in person.
We continue to provide residents with additional PIN phone credit to help you to stay in touch and will shortly be able to offer virtual visits through the Purple Visits service, which can be a great option for those with smaller children who would struggle to sit still through a visit or comply with the no contact rule.
Thank you for your support and understanding over the past few months. It has certainly been a trying time for everyone. I hope that you are able to see your loved one very soon and that it will provide you with some comfort to see them safe and well.
Director, HMP YOI Peterborough
Further government guidance is available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-and-prisons?dm_i=2OYA,10S05,7A50WP,3VSJ0,1#history