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By Theresa Goodwin

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Come Monday, family members eager to reconnect with their loved ones incarcerated at Her Majesty’s Prison (HMP), will have to comply with a series of screenings and other protocols before they are allowed into the penal institution.

Following consultation with the Ministry of Public Safety, prison authorities have taken a decision to resume visitations and delivery of personal hygienic products for inmates from June 29.

However, the daily delivery of meals to inmates will not be allowed.

The prison had suspended regular visitation, delivery or meals and personal hygiene items weeks ago in order to prevent the spread of Covid-19 toprisoners.

According to Prison Superintendent Lieutenant Colonel Eugene Phillip, the virus has not affected anyone in the correctional facility to date.

Family members, he said, will not be allowed to enter the prison if they are not wearing face masks, and their temperatures will be checked upon entry. They will also have to wash their hands and go through other processes before they are allowed inside.

“There is a plexi-glass and there will be a distance between the inmates and their loved one or whoever is visiting. Once they finish their dialogue, that entire area is then cleaned and sanitised before another person is allowed to enter,” the prison boss said.

“From all indications, there is no report of the virus in the prison, so we are very mindful, too, of that and will do everything to protect the inmates and staff. Temperature checks are done at the gate and once the temperature is high, that person will not be allowed to enter the gate, and as you enter, there are other processing and there is no real interaction with my officers.”

He also explained that the inmates and their visitors will be using separate entrances to enter and exit the visiting areas.

Additionally prison gangs will be permitted to work on the prison farm, and those inmates involved in social programmes — such as the Home Advancement Programme for the Indigent (HAPI) — will be resuming work under strict supervision whilst adhering to all established protocols.

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