From Tuesday 1st May 2021, residents will be permitted to hug visitors who are under the age of 11. It will also be permissible for people from two different households (family or friends) to make a combined visit, but the limit on the number of visitors per session will remain at 3 people.
FOPP Volunteers are used to helping “Residents” in HMP Peterborough. But an article in The Times newspaper yesterday reported that the Prisons Minister has told prison officials to stop calling inmates “Residents”, “Clients” or “Service Users” and refer to them simply as “Prisoners”. It will be interesting to see if/when this policy is introduced by Sodexo in HMP Peterborough.
Although the social distancing rules have been relaxed from today (17th May 2021) in the general community, this does not apply to prisons. A statement on the Sodexo prison website explains:
“You may have seen on the news that close families and friends will be allowed to have physical contact from Monday, May 17. The government has also said that there are some places where social distancing has to stay in place because there is still too much of a risk of coronavirus spreading. Prisons are environments where the virus can spread quickly and we sometimes need to take a different approach to the community.
For the time being, the current guidance is that social distancing between family and friends will need to continue in all prisons in England and Wales. This is so that we can allow in-person visits to take place and be confident that we can keep you and your loved ones safe.”
Sodexo have announced that social visits on the male side of the prison will resume from Monday May 17th 2021. This will coincide with the re-starting of some elements of the normal work regime for residents.