'Heartbreaking:' Doncaster jail slammed for social distancing as family visits restart

Family visits have restarted for inmates at a Doncaster jail – but the social distancing measures put in place have been described as ‘heartbreaking.’

Saturday, 24th April 2021, 10:12 am

HMP Hatfield announced yesterday that social visits were restarting at jail – and shared photos of socially distanced chairs and floors marked out with tape to keep inmates and friends and family apart due to coronavirus social distancing measures.

Announcing the new rules on Twitter, a spokesman said: “Families are welcomed back to visit their loved ones at HMP Hatfield as social visits re-open today.

"As you can see, our visits hall does look a bit different.

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Hatfield Prison has shared photos of its social distancing measures. (Photo: HMP Hatfield).

"All visitors will be asked to adhere to the C-19 safety measures we have put in place in order to help keep everyone safe

But Twitter users weren’t keen on the new look and one said: “This looks further than two metres. I find these photos heartbreaking, how are you supposed to have any communication with that distance and a mask?

Another replied: “Wtf is that? Why would anyone put themselves through that. That is misery and torture.”

And another said: “Why can we just do a test? I can’t wait to visit my OH (other half) but the 6 hour round trip is going to be hard without a hug. Family ties?”

Visits by family and friends were banned at prisons across Britain at the height of the pandemic as jails struggled to contain the number of Covid-19 cases within the prison system, with Doncaster’s jails all reporting hundreds of cases.