COVID-19: When will prison visits start again?

We’ve been getting lots of questions about when visits will recommence at Queensland prisons.

The answer isn’t a straight forward one. As you may be aware, the Queensland Government released a roadmap to the easing of community restrictions last week, and we will be using this as a framework for our prisons.

But that doesn’t mean you’ll see any immediate change to our restrictions, because just as the community plan allows four weeks between each easing of restrictions to allow time to monitor the effect and to make sure there are no significant outbreaks before we go to the next stage, we need to take the same approach with our prisons.

We are committed to keeping coronavirus out of our prisons to keep prisoners and our officers safe. And that means we need to see what impact the easing of community restrictions has before we ease our restrictions.

Consequently, generally speaking, our roll back of restrictions will begin after the Queensland community moves to Stage 2 restrictions, which if all goes well, will be June 12.

At that stage, we would look to reintroduce visits by accredited, government, professional and religious visitors, elders, respected persons and spiritual healers while maintaining strict health screening for everyone who enters our centres.

Once Queensland reaches stage 3 (planned for 10 July at this stage, subject to a successful stage 2 transition) we will be looking to reintroduce personal visits.

Each of these steps will be taken after consultation with Queensland Health and the Chief Health Officer to ensure we are not endangering the health and wellbeing of prisoners or our officers.

We know it is difficult not being able to visit your loved ones in prison, but it has been a vital part of keeping our prisons free of the virus.

We have introduced a range of new channels to help you keep in touch, including prisoner email and virtual personal visits, which will be rolled out state-wide in coming weeks.

We thank you for your patience and understanding as we try to keep the prisoners in our care safe from the virus.

We’re sorry we can’t be more specific on the dates, however please know that we will reintroduce visits as soon as Queensland Health says it is safe to do so.

You can play your part to ensure visits can restart as soon as possible by continuing to practice social distancing and maintaining good hygiene.

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