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Thai Prisons to Resume Family Visits After 13-Months Covid-19 Lockdown

A handout photo made available by the Department of Corrections shows Thai Justice Minister Somsak Thepsutin (center) chats with inmates who tested positive for COVID-19 coronavirus as they are quarantined and treat inside a field hospital for prisoners set up at the Corrections Hospital in Bangkok in May 2021.
A handout photo made available by the Department of Corrections shows Thai Justice Minister Somsak Thepsutin (center) chats with inmates who tested positive for COVID-19 coronavirus as they are quarantined and treat inside a field hospital for prisoners set up at the Corrections Hospital in Bangkok in May 2021.

The Corrections Department will resume in-person prison visits for relatives starting next week amid improvements in the Covid-19 situation.

Ayut Sinthoppan, director-general of the Corrections Department, said Friday that relatives will be allowed to visit inmates in 124 prisons nationwide due to the coronavirus situation at these facilities being deemed safe enough for prison visits.

He noted, however, that 19 other prisons will remain closed as the situations at those facilities have not improved.

In-person visits have been prohibited by the department since April of last year.

Relatives can schedule visits beginning on May 16 but are required to present proof of having been fully vaccinated and a negative antigen or RT-PCR test result 24 hours ahead of their visit.

Visits would be limited to four 15-minute rounds per day – two in the morning and two in the afternoon. Relatives who are unable to visit their relatives in person can still schedule virtual meetings, which are also available for facilities that remain closed to in-person visits.