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More than 200 inmates isolating after latest outbreak hits HMP Perth

HMP Perth.
HMP Perth.

More than 200 prisoners are isolating after another Covid-19 outbreak at HMP Perth.

Jail chiefs confirmed they are monitoring a sharp rise in coronavirus cases at the Edinburgh Road prison.

A total of 11 people have tested positive at the jail, an increase from just four on Tuesday.

A Scottish Prison Service spokeswoman confirmed the number of prisoners in isolation had more than doubled in 24 hours from 89 to 214.

HMP Perth
Perth Prison.

She denied the jail had been placed on lockdown but said staff were closely monitoring the situation.

It is the prison’s biggest outbreak since October last year.

Mostly confined to their cells

All affected prisoners are being regularly tested.

While in isolation they won’t have access to courts or agents’ visits, nor family visits.

The jail’s gymnasium is also out of bounds.

It is understood prisoners will still have access to open air and showers, however.

They also continue to have government-issued mobile phones so they can stay in contact with loved ones.

At the peak of the pandemic in 2020, some prisoners were released early to safeguard others in the 630 capacity jail.

Impact on local courts

The increase caused disruption at courts throughout Tayside and Fife.

Among those in quarantine was Tommy Doyle, who was due to be sentenced for a brutal assault on his ex-partner Angela Newlands at her home in Crieff.

Doyle’s case called at Perth Sheriff Court on Wednesday morning.

Solicitor Paul Ralph confirmed his client was in isolation, and unable to appear via video link.

The case was adjourned until next month.

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