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​COVID-Safe in-persons visits 

From 23 November 2020, Corrective Services NSW will recommence in person social visits. 

The safety of our staff and inmates remains our top priority.

Visits will look different to before. All visitors will be required to comply with new safety measures such as, physical distancing, screening criteria and use of surgical masks.

There will be fewer in person bookings available as we apply these safety measures, however video visits will remain as an option.

Correctional facilities are particularly vulnerable environments and we all need to work together to reduce the risk of COVID-19 entering our centres.

Video visits will continue to be available and we encourage family and friends to make these their first preference as they are still the safest option.

We continue to monitor the situation closely and the advice of NSW Health to ensure the safety of staff, inmates and visitors. Our intention is to gradually increase capacity and reduce restrictions when it is safe to do so.

Visit information may change at any time if an increased risk of COVID-19 is identified. 

Frequently asked questions for visitors

Who do COVID-safe in-person visits apply to?

COVID-Safe procedures apply to all in-person visitors.

COVID-Safe procedures will also apply to solicitors and other professionals.

Bookings for these visits should be made via existing procedures.

Will I be able to visit on Monday 23 November?

Visits will commence from Monday 23 November. Visiting schedules vary from centre to centre and have changed so we can keep offering video visits.

Booking staff at each centre will be able to advise you of the new schedules.

We have had to reduce the number of visit sessions available to allow for physical distancing in the visits area. We know this may be frustrating but please remember, we are taking these precautions to keep everyone safe.

COVID-Safety measures - what you need to know

What safety measures apply to visits?

The following safety measures are in place to keep staff, inmates and visitors safe:

  • A limit of two visitors (two adults or one child and one adult) per inmate.
  • A requirement for surgical masks to be worn for the entire visit. Removing the mask will result in the visit being terminated. Children under 12 are not required to wear a surgical mask.
  • A fist or elbow bump at the beginning and end of the visit is allowed but inmates and visitors must maintain physical distance at all other times.
  • The overall number of visits available has been reduced to apply the 4 square metre rule.
  • Visits will run for a maximum of 30 minutes per visit to reduce the risk of transmission.
  • No food or drinks will be available as these can spread germs.
  • All visits must be pre-booked, no walk-in visits will be permitted.
  • Hand sanitiser will be available and hand hygiene must be performed before and after a visit.

What happens if I ignore the safety measures?

These measures are in place to protect you, your loved one and our staff.

Failure to comply with the safety measures and instructions from staff may result in your visit being terminated and a potential ban may be put in place for a period to ensure the safety of staff and inmates can be maintained.

If for any reason any person removes their face mask during the visit the visit will be terminated immediately.

Will physical distancing rules apply to in-person social visits?
Yes, in line with NSW Health advice physical distancing will be enforced. 

Inmate and visitor/s must maintain physical distance for the duration of the visit. This condition is for your safety and the health and wellbeing of everyone. 

As with all areas of our facilities, the visits areas will be continuously cleaned with a focus on commonly touched surfaces.

Why are there limits to the number of people who can attend a visit?

To comply with physical distancing guidelines the number of visitors per inmate must be restricted and will gradually increase over time.

Can I wear my own mask to a visit?

No, you will be issued a surgical mask for your visit. You will not be allowed to wear your own mask.

Screening requirements - what you need to know

What are the screening requirements?

Since mid-March, anyone entering a correctional centre has been required to meet screening criteria. This will now apply to in-person visitors. As with all our safety measures, they are designed to reduce the risk of transmission within our facilities.

Screening requirements include:

  • Temperature check If your temperature is 37.5OC or higher you will not be permitted to enter.
  • You will be required to provide current contact details so that NSW Health can contact you if contact tracing is required.
  • You will be asked about your current health and whether you are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms.
  • You will be asked about your recent travel and whether you have been to any NSW Health "self-isolate and get tested immediately' locations in the last 14 days. We recommend reviewing the NSW Government Case Locations website before visiting.

If your responses to the screening questions present a COVID-19 risk, your visit will be rescheduled. 

The screening process is designed to reduce the risk of COVID-19 entering our facilities, we are relying on you to answer honestly and help us keep inmates, staff and visitors safe.

What is involved in the visitor screening process?

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 entering our correctional centre, we will be screening visitors before the normal visit processing occurs.
This means you may be asked about your health, whether you have been to any locations where NSW Health is directing people to 'self-isolate and get tested immediately' and any travel that you have done recently.

You will have your temperature tested and will be refused entry if it is 37.5 degrees Celsius or higher.

You will also be required to sanitise your hands and put on a surgical mask before entering the centre.

No food or drink will be available for purchase during the visit.

These measures are to identify any potential risks and to keep everyone safe.

How long will the screening process take?

We recommend arriving 30 minutes before your visit to allow time for the screening process. If it is your first visit since March, in addition to COVID-19 screening you will have your photograph taken for our biometrics system. Under legislation we are required to delete all biometric records every six-months so all visitors require new photographs.

What if the person I am visiting with fails to meet the screening criteria, can the visit still go ahead with one visitor?

No. Unfortunately, neither of you will be permitted to visit and you will need to reschedule.

Visit bookings

How can I book an in-person visit?

Bookings for in-person visits will open from Wednesday 18 November 2020.

Visits can be booked over the phone by contacting the correctional centre directly. Contact a correctional centre.

Note, visits to Cooma Correctional Centre can be booked online as part of the pilot process.

How do I make a video visit booking?

Video visits can be booked during normal visit booking times by contacting the correctional centre directly by telephone.

I tried to make a booking but there were no more visit times available, when will I be able to visit?

To comply with physical distancing guidelines, the number of visits available are much less than normal. The capacity of each centre depends on the size of their visits area.

We may not be able to accommodate every request for an in-person visit in the first instance.

Inmates in quarantine (first 14-days of custody) or isolation due to displaying COVID-19 symptoms cannot have in-person visits.

Child visitors

Can children attend a visit?

Yes, children of all ages can attend a visit but the limit of 2 visitors per inmate includes children. This means two adults or one adult and one child.

We know maintaining family connections are an important part of inmate rehabilitation. Our staff will manage these interactions in the most compassionate way possible. Given the need to apply physical distancing rules we ask that parents and/or guardians of children be aware that it may be a challenging and confusing environment for children.

Video visits will continue to be available and we encourage parents and/or guardians to consider whether video visits may continue to be the best option for children during this time. 

Playground facilities will not be in use due to the need for one person to supervise and that will not be possible under current restrictions.

Video visits

Will inmates still have access to video visits?

Yes. We know how much family and friends and inmates have enjoyed video visits during the pandemic and we will continue to provide this service on an ongoing basis.

As the risk of COVID-19 remains very real we encourage visitors to continue to access video visits as their first choice to help keep everyone safe.

More information

For more information about COVID-Safe visits, email us: GeneralEnquiries_CSNSW@justice.nsw.gov.au or call us on (02) 8346 1300 8:30am-4:30pm Monday to Friday.

View the latest case locations in NSW or NSW Health for the latest statistics and advice.