I can inform the Deputy that the Irish Prison Service introduced a wide range of measures necessary to protect the prisoner population form Covid-19 including the quarantining of new committals.
While it has been possible to lift the majority of restrictive measures introduced, the Irish Prison Service, recognising the threat that Covid-19 continues to pose to the vulnerable prison population, has continued a number of essential infection control measures which includes the quarantining of new committals and the isolation of suspected Covid-19 cases.
The continuation of such measures is necessary to prevent the spread of infection within prisons and allows for the continued relaxation of other infection control measures for the wider prison population.
Remaining restrictive measures are continually reviewed taking account of the community rate of transmission and the level of risk posed.
Presently, all new committals to the Irish Prison service are placed in isolation and undergo a PCR test on day 5. Certain committals are also tested on day 1 including prisoners who have arrived from a foreign country and anyone who is deemed to be a close contact.
Results permitting, prisoners are then transferred to the general prison population and engage in the normal prison routine.
Should a new committal test positive for Covid 19 on their day 5 test, they remain in quarantine for 10 days.