On Sunday 15 November 2020, one staff member at Yatala Labour Prison (YLP) tested positive to COVID-19.
To date, there have been no further positive cases for DCS staff or prisoners linked to YLP.
DCS continues to work closely with the SA Health Communicable Diseases Control Branch to ensure all recommended COVID tests are conducted. Get more information about the Parafield cluster.

COVID-19: Important information for visitors to our prisons

Domestic visitors

All domestic visits to South Australian prisons are suspended for two weeks from Tuesday 17 November 2020.

The decision to suspend domestic prison visits was not made lightly and responds to the escalating risk of COVID-19 in the South Australian community.

The health, safety and security of our staff, prisoners, visitors, and the community remain our top priority.

We understand the importance of family and community connections to the wellbeing, rehabilitation and reintegration of prisoners. We also understand for families and friends the importance of staying connected to prisoners. ​

Virtual visits will continue to be available at all prisons to ensure prisoners can maintain face-to-face contact with their loved ones.

DCS is closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation in South Australia and will continue to follow the advice of SA Health as the lead agency.

Who does this apply to?

This applies to all domestic visitors:

  • Family and friends​.

When will visits resume?

There is no date set for when visits will resume. The current suspension is for a two week period to enable us to monitor what is happening in the South Australian community. This will be continuously reviewed and it is anticipated that an update will be provided in two weeks.

Visits will recommence as soon as it is safe to do so.

Will prisoners still have access to video visits?

Video visits will continue to be available for domestic visitors using the Zoom application.

See COVID-19: Video visits for domestic visitors for further information on video visits.

What are other ways I can contact a prisoner?

Prisoners have access to telephone facilities and are encouraged to stay in contact with family and friends.

You can also contact a prisoner by writing to them:

  • Prisoner name, ID number, and location if known
    Department for Correctional Services
    GPO Box 1747, Adelaide SA 5001

More information

See COVID-19: Family and Friends FAQs for answers to some of your DCS and COVID-19 questions.

For general information on COVID-19, see the SA Health website or phone the SA Health COVID Information Line on 1800 253 787.

Professional visitors

You are not allowed to visit any of our prisons if:

  • You are feeling unwell
  • You been overseas or crossed a border within Australia in the last 14 days, or been in contact with someone who has
  • You have any COVID-19 like symptoms such as a sore throat, cough, shortness of breath, or fatigue
  • You been advised to self-isolate or be tested for COVID-19
  • You been tested for COVID-19 and are awaiting test results
  • You been in contact with a person suspected or confirmed of having COVID 19.

Who does this apply to?

This applies to all professional visitors:

  • Legal professionals
  • Service providers
  • Contractors.

Visitor conditions

Bookings for professional visits have been reduced by 50% with the following conditions:

  • 1 Adult visitor per prisoner
  • Prisoner and visitor must sit at least 1.5 metres apart
  • No personal contact (handshakes etc)
  • No sharing of equipment (pens and paper etc).

Why am I being asked about my health and recent travel?

To minimise the risk of COVID-19 entering our prisons, we will be screening all persons entering the site.

This means you may be asked about your health and any travel that you have done recently. You may have your temperature tested with a thermal detection camera and be refused entry if it is above normal levels.

You will also be required to sanitise your hands before entering.
These measures are to identify any potential risks and to keep everyone safe.

Can I wear a mask to a visit?

No, masks are not permitted to be worn by visitors for security and screening purposes.

The current health advice is that masks are not recommended given the number of visits occurring, screening questions, thermal temperature testing and social distancing requirements in place.

If you feel it is necessary to wear a mask you may be asked to reconsider your visit. The visit will not proceed if either the visitor or prisoner is presenting as unwell or is showing any cold or flu symptoms.

How else can I make contact?

You can also make contact with a prisoner by:

  • Phone links – please enquire with bookings staff
  • Writing to the prisoner c/o:
    • Prisoner name, ID number, and location if known
      Department for Correctional Services
      GPO Box 1747, Adelaide SA 5001

DCS is looking into alternative visit options including the use of Zoom for professional visits.

When can I resume visits?

You can resume visiting after 14 days if:

  • You are well
  • You have not had contact with a person infected with COVID-19 within the last two weeks.

Why is this happening?

DCS has taken these steps to reduce the risk of COVID-19 entering our prisons.

Prisoners have also been advised to take extra care with their personal hygiene and seek help if they feel unwell.

More information

For more information on COVID-19, see the SA Health website or phone the SA Health COVID Information Line on 1800 253 787.