03 July 2020
The States of Jersey Prison Service (SoJPS) is due to re-start social visits for prisoners on Monday 6 July, following the easing of Covid-19 restrictions at the facility.
Social visits for all prisoners were suspended on Wednesday 25 March as part of the Prison Service’s measures to help minimise the spread of the virus. However, as Jersey moves through its Safe Exit framework, the restrictions put in place at HMP La Moye are now gradually being lifted.
The relaxation of restrictions means social visits are due to be re-instated on Monday 6 July for prisoners. However, strict safety precautions will be in place including the need for prisoners, visitors and staff supervising the visits, to wear face masks. Visitors are also encouraged to use the hand sanitiser stations within the visiting area.
Under the new rules, each prisoner will be allowed to have up to three visitors per visit providing that the three visitors are from the same household. Children under the age of 12 are not permitted to visit the prison at this stage, but the SoJPS is considering allowing them to when the next phase of restrictions are lifted. The process for booking visits remains the same as before the pandemic.
Deputy Governor at La Moye Prison, Nick Watkins, said: "We understand how important it is for prisoners and their families to stay in touch with one another. That is why we ensured that prisoners were able to undertake video visits with their relatives for free when we had to suspend face-to-face visits. Prisoners also continued to speak to their family through their in-cell phones.
"However, although technology has its advantages, nothing beats a face-to-face visit so it’s wonderful news that we can re-introduce them. Visits will be slightly different from before the pandemic, but we urge everyone to follow the rules we have put in place to protect the safety of everyone and to ensure the prison continues to remain Covid-free.
"Unfortunately, this means that for the time being prisoners will not be allowed to touch, kiss or hug their friends or family. We appreciate that this will be difficult, but it is vital that we prevent the spread of the virus and we will be reviewing this requirement in the next phase of easing."