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Thursday, March 26, 2020

19 inmates at UK prisons test positive for coronavirus

Nineteen inmates across 10 UK prisons have tested positive for coronavirus, the Ministry of Justice has confirmed.

It comes after it was announced yesterday that prisons across England and Wales would be shutting down jail visits in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

A number of prisons have already confirmed cases of COVID-19 as cases soar across the UK and Boris Johnson orders Britons to stay inside.

However anxiety inside jails over coronavirus continues to grow due to the close proximity of prisoners and fears staff will go off sick with the disease.

Yesterday the Ministry of Justice confirmed that visitors would no longer be allowed to enter the establishments in an effort to keep staff, inmates and families safe and protect the NHS's ability to cope with the surge in coronavirus cases.

The Prisoner Officer's Association (POA) also confirmed that inmates would be locked up for most hours of the day and would be let out only to access necessities such as showers or to use the phones and exercise.

National chair of the POA, Mark Fairhurst, confirmed that the new plans were approved on Monday night after talks with the government brought to light that more prisoners were showing symptoms of the coronavirus. 

He told The Independent: 'More and more staff are self-isolating, more and more prisoners are showing symptoms of Covid-19, and in order to protect staff, prisoners and the general public, it is now necessary to self-isolate our prisoners to stop the spread.'

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