Updated Friday 24 July 2020
A Personal Message to the Family and Friends of Residents at Addiewell
I am delighted to confirm, from Wednesday 29 July, we are able offer social visits again for our residents – for the first time since the national lockdown was implemented back in March. Here at HMP Addiewell we completely understand how important it is to maintain family ties and we are looking forward to welcoming you back to see your loved ones.
We’ve worked very hard to prepare for the re-introduction of social visits, ensuring that we have all of the appropriate safeguards and measures in place to keep you, your loved one and our staff safe. There are some important changes that you need to be aware of though – all in place to ensure we comply with the Scottish Government requirements to be able to offer social visits. Please make sure that you read these carefully so that you know what to expect when you come to the prison.
Guidelines for those visiting during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Visits must be booked by residents using our internal booking procedure – they will be provided with a selection of visit dates and times to choose from.
- When you arrive, all visitors (adults and children) will have their temperature taken using a non-contact thermometer. We will also ask you some questions to make sure that you are well and haven’t travelled from an area that is subject to a government lockdown. This is to make sure that we minimise the risk to our residents from anyone potentially coming into the prison with any Covid-19 symptoms.
- You will be required to wear a face covering from the time you arrive at the prison and while walking to and from the visits hall. If you wish, you may remove this whilst seated at the table. If you do not have a face covering, you will be provided with one by the prison. Children under the age of 12 are not required to wear a face covering.
- You will need to adhere to the 2 metre physical distancing requirements. This means between you and your loved one and also between you and any other individuals accompanying you but who are not part of your family unit. To help you, the table and chairs have been set out and clearly marked detailing the distance required.
- Visits will last for 90 minutes and we will review this in consultation with our residents and visitors after a month. We cannot offer longer visits at this time, partly because we need to allow sufficient time for appropriate cleaning to be carried out between visits sessions and to ensure everyone has an opportunity for a visit in a calendar month.
- You will not be permitted to have any physical contact with the resident you are visiting – that includes hugging, kissing, shaking hands and so on. The only exception to this rule is for children under 12 – they do not need to physically distance with anyone at the table, including the resident. We know this will be very hard, but we must obey the government guidance to keep both you and your loved ones safe.
- All visitors will need to remain seated during their visit, including children. Please bear this in mind when planning a visit to the prison.
- The shop will be closed but you will be provided with an individual refreshment pack free of charge for your own use – including juice, biscuits and sweets. You are not allowed share this or to bring any food or drink in with you.
- There is no waiting area available in the visits centre. Please arrive 20 minutes ahead of your scheduled visit.
Full details of what to expect are available on our 'Visiting the prison' page.
I hope that you understand that all of the restrictions that remain in place are to keep everyone safe and healthy. Although visits aren’t going to look like, or feel like, what you’ve previously experienced, I know it will mean so much for you to be able to see your loved ones in person and we’ll be as supportive as we possibly can.
We also continue to provide residents with additional PIN phone credit to help you to stay in touch and have implemented virtual visits – these have been a great success and will continue. I would encourage you to make use of the virtual visit technology.
Thank you for your support and understanding over the past few months. It has certainly been a trying time for everyone. I hope that you are able to see your loved one very soon and that it will provide you with some comfort to see them safe and well.