Prison visits are to be suspended this weekend as a precautionary measure while enquiries continue into a small number of unexplained cases of coronavirus in the north of the Island.
The decision was taken following a risk assessment and in consultation with the prison’s healthcare partners, to protect staff, offenders and visitors.
Acting Prison Governor Leroy Bonnick said: ‘We are following protocols which have been put in place in health and care settings to minimise risk, as a number of our prisoners have vulnerabilities. It is not possible during visiting sessions to maintain social distancing between prisoners and visitors, so for this weekend, we are suspending visits while the situation is monitored. We are currently installing features such as plexi-glass sheets in the visiting area, to ensure safe visiting in the future.’
He added: ‘The suspension is being kept under review and a decision on restoring visiting will be made on Monday (26 April). We are currently operating a COVID-safe, near normal regime in the prison which includes exercise and association sessions.’
The decision to suspend visiting follows Manx Care suspending visits to the hospital yesterday for an initial 48 hours.