After the latest announcement from Her Majesty's Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) we know that many people have questions about Covid-19 testing and what physical contact will be allowed during social visits as a result of showing a negative test result. Below, we’ve outlined some answers from HMPPS that we hope you will find useful.

Which prisons are introducing testing for physical contact? When will this happen in all prisons?

Testing for physical contact can be introduced in all public and private prisons. This will not happen at the same time for all prisons but instead will depend on each prison’s local circumstances and risk assessments. You can find out the latest information about a specific prison on the GOV.UK website. 

What does testing for physical contact actually mean?

Once a prison has introduced testing for physical contact, visitors will be allowed some physical contact with their loved one after showing a negative Covid-19 test result for a test taken that day.

What physical contact will be allowed?

Individual prisons will make their own decisions about what physical contact is allowed during visits and this will be based on pre-Covid-19 visits policies. Prisons should tell visitors, prisoners and staff exactly what to expect.

In Wales, prisons will only allow hand-holding during visits, but prisons in England can determine locally what physical contact they permit. Visitors and prisoners everywhere will still need to wear a mask.

Find out more