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Prisoners: Coronavirus

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN HL467, tabled on 24 May 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many prisoners have tested positive for COVID-19 in each UK prison since March 2020.

Answered on

8 June 2021

The safety of our staff and those under our supervision remains a top priority, and testing is an important element of our overall set of measures to limit the importation of infection into and between prisons. We have therefore been working closely with the Department of Health and Social Care, the NHS, and health authority colleagues in England and Wales since last summer on providing access to Covid-19 tests in both publicly and privately-run prisons.

Data on prisoners in England and Wales who tested positive broken down by establishment and month was published in the February edition of the HM Prison and Probation Service COVID-19 statistics monthly series. I have attached copy of the summary tables included in the release, with data on positive test results provided in Table 2.

Over the course of the pandemic we have expanded the use of testing based on public health recommendations, and we now offer testing routinely to all staff and those prisoners who are moving into or within the prison estate. We also conduct mass testing as part of a multi-agency response to outbreaks.