Prison visits resume at COVID-19 Alert Level 2

Corrections is pleased to resume visits to prison by family, whānau, lawyers, volunteers, researchers and others.

We know how difficult COVID-19 isolation has been for everyone, but it remains a threat and we must continue measures to help prevent its spread.

We will start visits again as each site is safely able to do so.

Visits precautions

For private and specified visitors:

  • If you are sick, stay at home.
  • We’ll ask all visitors to confirm they do not have COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Thermal cameras will screen everyone coming into prison in case they have a high temperature which could indicate COVID-19 infection. If you have a temperature of 38 C or higher, it is unlikely you will be able to visit that day. Read more about thermal cameras in prison.
  • Depending on prison visit spaces, fewer visitors may be allowed in each visit session to allow for physical distancing. You may need to be more flexible about when to visit.
  • All visitors to our sites will be asked to wash their hands and/or use hand sanitiser, and wear a mask proivded (except children under 5). We’ll have information available to show you how to put on and take off your mask safely.
  • You may not bring food or drink into the prison (except for food for children that will be consumed during the visit session – which cannot be shared).
  • Visitors will have to confirm up to date contact information in case there are concerns of exposure to COVID-19.

You will need to keep 1 metre distance from others, including the person you’re visiting. That's the best way to keep everyone safe. (Some people may be infected and show no symptoms.)

You are welcome to download this Information Sheet for Visitors PDF, 144.0 KB


People booking visits to the prison will be advised of the conditions verbally or by letter or email.

Visitors who refuse to comply with the conditions may be refused entry.


People in prison are entitled to visits from their lawyer. If a lawyer refuses to be thermal image scanned, or to wear PPE (they can bring their own), a manager will speak with the lawyer and decide whether that refusal poses a health and safety risk to others.

Alternatives, such as AVL, will be considered when deciding whether to refuse entry

Other ways to stay connected

As well as visiting in person there are other easy ways to stay in touch.

  • Prisoners will continue to be given a $5 phone card each week to help them stay in touch
  • We have installed more phones for people in prison to call loved ones
  • It is easier to email a prisoner – see the list of email addresses to send an email to someone in prison (a staff member will print it out and give it to the person). They can reply by post.
  • Video calling is being expanded to all prisons over the coming weeks, starting 11 May.

Thank you for helping us to keep everyone safe from COVID-19.

Read more on our COVID-19 FAQs page.

For more COVID-19 health advice and information

Call Healthline free on 0800 358 5453. It is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and has access to interpreters.