Visit someone in prison

Because of coronavirus (COVID-19), there are restrictions around visiting someone in prison in England or Wales. Check which prisons are open for visits and what you need to do.

There are other ways to stay in touch with someone in prison.

There are different rules if you’re in Scotland or Northern Ireland.

If you’re eligible to visit

Contact the prison to arrange a visit.

When you must not visit

You cannot visit someone in prison, even if you’re eligible, if:

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 one other adult and one child
  • up to 2 children, if you’re visiting without another adult

Physical contact with someone in prison

Children under 11 can have physical contact with someone in prison.

Some prisons might also let you (and other visitors aged 11 or over) have physical contact with someone in prison. You’ll need to test negative for COVID-19 on the day of the prison visit.