Full social distancing measures to remain in place at Peterborough prison after freedom day

Full social distancing measures are to remain in place at HMP Peterborough after Freedom Day on Monday (July 19).

By Ben Jones
Thursday, 15th July 2021, 4:51 pm
HMP Peterborough.
HMP Peterborough.

The government confirmed this week that all legal Covid-19 restrictions will be lifted on Monday.

This will see the legal requirement to wear a face covering in enclosed spaces end, with the government replacing it with guidance that it “expects and reccomends” people continue to wear them in crowded areas. HMP Peterborough has now revealed that they will carry onto enforce the rules as per before July 19.

Face masks will remain mandatory on site and social distancing will be observed.

The prison is, however, taking part in a ‘Test & Hug’ pilot scheme. As part of this, visitors aand residents will be able to hug, provided they have both tested negative on the day of the visit.

Visitors wishing to take part are advised to arrive at least 30 minutes early to complete a lateral flow test. Without doing so, visitors and residents will not be allowed to embrace.

A spokesperson for Sodexo which runs HMP Peterborough, said: “Prisons remain a high-risk environment with increased potential for outbreaks of Covid-19, therefore the removal of restrictions in the community on Monday 19 July will not be replicated within the establishment.

“Infection rates are rising both in the community and in prisons, so we must continue to proceed with caution and retain the current controls that we have in place.

“Within the prison we have many people working and living in close proximity, so we must follow the advice of public health experts to safeguard against the virus.

“We will be progressing with the gradual expansion of our regime, although this will be done slowly and with caution.

“We understand that the discrepancies between the community and the restrictions within the prison may cause frustration, but please bear in mind that we must make the wellbeing of our residents, staff and visitors our priority.

“To help to ease the frustration of social distancing and to improve the experience of visits, HMP Peterborough is participating in a pilot scheme called ‘Test & Hug’. This allows residents and visitors to embrace at the start and end of their visit, as long as all parties have tested negative for Covid-19 on the day of the visit. We’re delighted to be a part of this scheme and the feedback received so far has been very positive.

“Please note that visitors will still be required to wear a face mask and that they are mandatory for the duration of the visit.

“Thank you for your ongoing support and patience as we work through the challenges that the global pandemic has created.”