COVID-19: Important information for visitors

Domestic visits

From Saturday 28 May 2022, children will be able to attend face-to-face domestic visits.

Visits bookings will start Monday 23 May 2022, with one adult and a maximum of two child visitors per prisoner each visit.

Prior to visit

All prisoners and visitors aged above 5 years old must have at least two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine to attend a face-to-face visit. Currently, all visitors and contractors who are deemed close contacts are not permitted entry into a prison.

All visitors aged 12 and above will be provided with a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) upon entry and must show evidence of negative result for a visit to proceed.

All visitors must provide proof of valid vaccination preferably printed, including for any children attending, and to arrive early to take a RAT process (minimum 15 minutes) and visit registration.

NO PROOF – NO ENTRY

Proof of vaccination includes:

  1. COVID-19 digital vaccination certificate on the Express Plus Medicare app or Medicare online account linked to myGov app/website, preferably printed
  2. Immunisation history statement on the Individual Healthcare Identifier service via myGov app, preferably printed.

Find out how to get proof of vaccination on the Services Australia website.

During the visit

All prisoners and visitors aged 12 and above must wear a surgical mask during the visit. Children younger than 12 years are encouraged to wear a mask.

You are encouraged to maintain physical distancing during the visit.

Due to high levels of COVID transmission among the community, the department will closely monitor and review visit restrictions regularly.

Virtual visits are available via Zoom/iPad, including for unvaccinated prisoners and/or those who have unvaccinated visitors.

Other restrictions

Face-to-face visits will not be permitted for prisoners who are in their 7-day quarantine behind the door.

If you are experiencing any flu-like symptoms including fever, cough, sore throat or shortness of breath or generally unwell, please do not attend a correctional facility.

Domestic visits are an important tool to prisoners in maintaining ties and relationship with their loved ones.

The careful easing of restrictions coupled with our strong protective safety measures will protect all prisoners, their families, friends and our staff. The health and safety of our staff, prisoners, families, and the community remain our top priority.

DCS has developed a COVID-19 Response Plan to drive our response to manage COVID within our prisons.

Current cases in SA prisons

As at 20 June 2022, the number of COVID cases DCS is managing are:

PrisonActive cases (prisoner)
Adelaide Remand Centre17
Yatala Labour Prison14
Port Augusta Prison80
Mobilong Prison17
Port Lincoln Prison3
Adelaide Women's Prison0
Cadell Training Centre0
Adelaide Pre-release Centre1
Mount Gambier Prison44

DCS continues to manage positive patients as they complete their 7-day isolation period and are no longer considered an active case. Most prisoners are being managed at site with mild symptoms.

Prisons with active cases are experiencing service restrictions while testing and contact tracing are underway. Groups of prisoners are allowed out of their accommodation for periods of time each day whilst maintaining staff and prisoner safety. Prisoners continue to have access to make calls. DCS is committed to delivering as many services as possible at these sites.

The Department is working with SA Health’s Communicable Disease Control Branch (CDCB) and we are responding in accordance with agreed protocols.

The Department has prepared COVID-19 Response Plan to manage COVID cases in our prisons. Under the DCS COVID-19 Response Plan, all prisons are in Response Level Yellow.

All sites have high staff and prisoner vaccination rates with comprehensive PPE, cleaning, and hygiene measures in place.

DCS is taking all preventative steps necessary to ensure the health and safety of our prisons, while prioritising and protecting our prisoners and staff.

Professional visits

Professional visit sessions have been reduced to a one professional visitor per prisoner unless General Manager approved. Professional visitors, including contractors, must show proof of full vaccination upon entry and wear surgical masks at all times during the visit.

How will I know if my family member inside prison has tested positive?

DCS staff are not in a position to share individual prisoners’ medical information with the general public or family members, this includes a prisoner’s COVID status.

All prisoners who test positive to COVID-19 will be provided with the opportunity to inform their families via phone as soon as practicable following a positive test.

What are other ways I can contact a prisoner?

Apart from the prisons currently in lockdown, 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: Video visits for domestic visitors for further information.

See restrictions that apply for the recommencement of face-to-face visits.

See DCS COVID-19 Response Plan.