Visit someone in prison

You can normally visit partners and close family members in some prisons.

There are some restrictions because of coronavirus (COVID-19). You must wear a face covering and follow the rules for meeting with others safely.

Because of coronavirus, social prison visits are currently suspended in England and Wales. You may be able to agree a visit in advance on compassionate grounds. Contact the prison for further details.

If you cannot visit, there are other ways to contact someone in prison.

When you must not visit

You cannot visit someone in prison if:

  • you or someone you live with has coronavirus symptoms
  • you know or you’ve been told by the NHS Test and Trace service that you’ve been in contact with a person who has coronavirus
  • you’ve returned to the UK in the last 14 days and have to self-isolate
  • you live in, or are visiting a prison in a ‘very high’ local Covid alert level area – unless the visit has been agreed in advance by the prison on compassionate grounds

Who can visit

To visit someone in prison you must be aged 18 or over, or under 18 and accompanied by an eligible adult.

You must also be either:

  • a partner, parent, sibling, child, foster-parent, grandparent
  • a carer or someone who the prisoner relies on for emotional support

If you’re visiting a young offender institute or secure training centre, you can also visit if you’re a social worker for looked after children.

If you’re visiting in a group

You can visit a prison with:

  • up to 1 other adult and 1 child from your household
  • 2 children from your household, if you’re visiting without another adult
  • the other parent of your child in custody, if you live apart