Staying connected with friends and family

Visiting prison under COVID-19

Updated 7 September 2021

As of 11:59pm Tuesday 7 September 2021, all of New Zealand except Auckland is at Alert Level 2. Auckland remains at Alert Level 4.

Visits at Alert Level 2 – All prisons except Auckland Prison, Mt. Eden Corrections Facility, Auckland Region Women’s Corrections Facility, Auckland South Corrections Facility

Visits will continue but we are taking extra precautions to keep everyone safe from COVID-19.

  • The total number of visitors able to attend each visit session, and/or the duration of visits may need to be reduced
  • A manual register is provided at each site for the purpose of mandatory contract tracing
  • Thermal cameras will screen everyone coming into prison in case they have a high temperature which could indicate COVID-19 infection or another illness. If you have a temperature of 38 C or higher, you may not be able to visit that day.
  • All visitors to our sites will be asked to wash their hands or use hand sanitiser.
  • All visitors to our sites will be asked the Ministry of Health screening questions.
  • Visitors will have to confirm up to date contact information in case there are concerns of exposure to COVID-19.
  • You will be provided with PPE (face mask) for your own safety as well as that of the person you are visiting. We’ll have instructions available to show you how to safely put on and take off your mask.
  • You will need to practice physical distancing and maintain a 2-metre distance from others where possible –the best way to keep the person you are visiting safe, is to limit physical contact.
  • If you are unwell please stay home.

Alert level 4 -  Auckland Region

Unfortunately, personal visits to prisoners are unable to take place until Auckland moves to lower Alert Levels.

  • We are providing additional phone cards to prisoners to ensure contact with friends and whānau continues. Video calling may be available for certain prisoners at some prisons.
  • Face-to-face statutory visits (including Ombudsman and Inspectorate visits) will continue with appropriate health and safety protocols in place, including mask wearing. All other face-to-face visits, including Parole Board and legal visits will be undertaken via other means such as phone or audio-visual link (AVL).
  • We are using thermal cameras to check the temperature of everyone who comes to our prison – staff, people in prison, and visitors. Non-statutory visitors with a high temperature of 38°C or higher will not be allowed in.
  • Health services to people in prison are being maintained.

Other ways to stay in touch

You can still make contact with people in prison by phone, mail, email and, in some cases, video calling.

  • We are providing people in prison with $5 phonecards so they can make more calls
  • We have installed more phones for people in prison to call loved ones.
  • You can 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 available in most prisons for eligible people to video call their approved visitors, subject to availability.

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.

If you visit

We are asking everyone coming into prison to take added safety measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

This means:

  • asking MOH screening questions
  • physical distancing
  • providing details to support contact tracing
  • thermal imaging cameras to detect high temperatures
  • hand hygiene on entry.

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