SOCIAL VISITS TO HMP LEEDS AND HMP WEALSTUN ARE CHANGING. PHYSICAL CONTACT WILL BE ALLOWED FOR VISITORS WHO HAVE A NEGATIVE COVID TEST
Find out more about changes to Social Visits below
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updated: 12th August 2021
Visits at HMP Leeds can only booked via the booking line: 01132032995
The line is open Monday to Friday, 8:00am to 10:00pm and then 12:00 to 2:00pm. Please only use this number for visits booking. Jigsaw do not have access to the visit booking system via our main number below.
We are pleased to announce that we will be allowing physical contact for visitors who have a negative COVID test. We know that not having contact with your loved ones has been one of the hardest parts of COVID.
You will be able to take your test at home on the day of your visit and bring the evidence of a negative result with you. The person you are visiting may not have had a test before your visit. You’ll need to have a chat with them and decide whether you are happy having contact if they have not had a test.
In our progression to Level 2 the days and times for visits will change
Sessions of 1 hour visits will be operating 4 days a week Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday PM only 2 sessions per day, 4 sessions of 1 hour visits will be operating Saturday, Sunday with no effect on the regime
We know that not everyone will feel comfortable with physical contact now. As long as you don’t have any COVID symptoms, you can still come into the prison and see your visitor without having physical contact. You will not need to take a test for a visit without physical contact, however testing helps prevent COVID cases from coming into the prison. This will help us protect people in prison and keep activities, like visits, open.
Children under 11 can have contact with the person they are visiting without taking a test.
COVID remains with us and there are increases in cases in the community. If we have an outbreak at the prison, we may need to bring back social distancing or pause visits while we manage the outbreak.
I am happy to take a test. What do I need to do?
You should take your test at home on the day of your visit and bring evidence of a negative result with you, either an email or a text from the NHS. You can get testing kits from local pharmacies or use any test that you may get from testing through other means such as the workplace or your children’s school.
Do I have to take a test?
No, this is voluntary, and we know that some don’t feel ready for close contact with many people at the moment.
If you don’t take a test, you can still come into the prison, but you will not be able to have any contact with the person you are visiting.
Taking a test helps us to prevent COVID outbreaks in the prison. If we have an outbreak, it may lead to us restricting our regimes again which we want to avoid where possible. By taking a test, you will help to protect your loved ones and the wider prison – thank you.
The only time you should not take a test is if you have had a positive PCR (lab) test in the last 14 days. This is because you may return a false positive. This is different from the current community guidance which is 90 days.
What if I test positive?
Your visit will have to be postponed and you will need to book a PCR (lab) test in the community to confirm the result.
The person you are visiting will be told what has happened and we will let them know that the visit can be rebooked using the normal visits booking process. This will not be taken out of their visits allocation. The same action will be taken if the person you are visiting has a positive test result.
We know that missing your visit will be disappointing, but by spotting potential cases before they come into a prison, we can prevent potential spread of the virus and help keep people safe.
Do my children need to take part in the testing?
Children under the age of 11 don’t need to take part in the testing and can have physical contact with the person they are visiting anyway. This is the same in all prisons and not just pilot sites.
Secondary school children will be offered a test, in line with community testing. This is voluntary and they will still get their visit if they do not wish to take a test but they will not be able to have contact with the person they are visiting.
Will I still need to follow social distancing measures in prison?
While you will be able to have contact with the person you are visiting, you will still need to follow the rest of the COVID prevention measures in place. This includes social distancing from people you aren’t visiting and wearing a mask.
Testing at the establishment
If the Family wish to have a test at the establishment they should arrive 45 mins prior to the start of their visit and attend the gate house where they will be met by the testing team and allocated a self-test kit.
They will then complete their tests and be allocated to an area in the gate house until the result is confirmed.
They will then go straight to the Jigsaw centre and follow the booking in process.
IMPORTANT TO NOTE
If the visitor declines a test or is unable to provide evidence in the form of the confirmation results email/text/timestamped photo the visit can still proceed so long as neither party are displaying COVID symptoms, but physical contact will not be allowed. Current rules for non-contact, PPE and social distancing whilst moving from one place to another will apply.
Contact on visits is reliant on all visitors in the visiting party taking a test on the day of the visit and these tests producing a negative result. If the prisoner takes a test ahead of the visit- this test must also be negative.
All visitors aged 12 and older in each party must consent to taking the tests if physical contact is to be permitted. Parents/Guardians must give consent for visitors aged between 12-18.
Testing does not remove the requirement to wear the required personal protective equipment (PPE) i.e. face coverings.
If the LFD test is taken on site, visitors must await the results of the test prior to entering the establishment. This can take up to 30 minutes so visitors should be advised to arrive an extra 45 minutes prior to their visit time to allow for the testing process.
If you need any advice about visiting HMP Leeds or have any queries about your visit that do not relate to booking, please call us on 0113 203 2771.
Full details for visiting HMP Leeds can be found on the Ministry of Justice website.
HMP Leeds August 2021 visits update
Visits at HMP Wealstun can only booked via the booking line:
We will be allowing physical contact during visits for those people who have had a negative COVID test. HMPPS have been piloting testing for contact in some prisons and had some really positive feedback.
The advice from our health partners is that the results from these pilots mean that we can roll this out nationally. We will be asking visitors to test before they come to the prison and bring evidence of their negative result with them.
The testing is voluntary and we will still be taking people’s temperature before they arrive for visits. If a visitor decides not to have a test, they can still visit (as long as they do not display any COVID symptoms) but they cannot have any contact.
However, we should be encouraging everyone to have a test even if they don’t want physical contact because it will help prevent cases from coming into the prison.
Children under 11 can still have contact without needing to take a test. From the 31 July 2021, if the visitor has had a negative COVID test on the day of their visit, hand holding contact will be allowed. No kissing or hugging is allowed unless children under the age of 11.
Please note to allow contact, all visitors to the person they are visiting must have a negative test.
We know that prisoners and their families have been frustrated because they feel they are being treated differently to other people. This is a positive step forward for us in our COVID recovery but we may need to pause visits if we have an outbreak.
We must continue to get tested and promote the fact we are being tested so that prisoners feel we are doing our part to prevent the spread of infection. I would also urge you to get a vaccination if you have not already done so – you will be protecting yourself, your families, your colleagues and the prisoners here if you have it done.
Full details for visiting HMP Wealstun can be found on the Ministry of Justice website.