The Irish Prison Service (IPS) has announced that physical visits to all prisons will be suspended from midnight on Thursday 24 December.
The news follows the Government announcement of new COVID-19 restrictions from that date.
The IPS says that all physical visits booked for all prisons after 24 December have now been cancelled. It is advising any family member with a physical visit scheduled after Thursday not to travel to the prison.
Family members are being asked to contact the prison to rebook a video visit using the normal booking procedure.
“We regret that we must cancel these visits and understand that many families will be disappointed,” the IPS said in a statement. It added, however, that it would continue to make video visits available and that it had granted all prisoners an additional daily phone call.
The Government yesterday (23 December) announced that the country would return to restrictions under level five, with a number of adjustments, from 24 December until at least 12 January.
The Taoiseach Micheál Martin said the latest figures suggested that we might now be seeing a daily growth rate of around 10% in COVID-19 cases, adding that this was “not sustainable”.