Visit someone in prison

Because of coronavirus (COVID-19), you cannot currently visit someone in prison in England or Wales. There are other ways to stay in touch with someone in prison.

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

You may be able to agree a visit in advance on compassionate grounds. Contact the prison to check.

You can still:

  • visit children in the Youth Custody Service (YCS)
  • make legal visits if they cannot be done remotely

If you’re eligible to visit

Contact the prison to arrange a visit. You must follow social distancing rules.

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 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