Prisoners in the United Kingdom can be out from prison early so the government can release after inmates have started to test positive for the novel coronavirus.
In England and Wales, 13 prisoners have tested positive for the coronavirus.
A number of prisoners are being tested for the virus.
MP Robert Buckland told the House of Commons that 4000 prison staff out of 34,000 are now self-isolating.
The staff was asked to isolate after 12 confirmed cases.
MP Buckland said that he might have to consider the option of releasing a number of prisoners earlier so they could alleviate pressure.
He continued that he will be looking carefully at 50 prisoners who are pregnant and those that are on remand.
Thousands of inmates are due to be freed in the next few months.
The news comes as all inmates in Wales and England are placed on immediate lockdown with all visits being canceled.
The lockdown in prison means that inmates are locked up in their cell for over 23 hours each day.
The POA (Prison Officer Association) said their prisoners will be allowed out of their cells to access showers, phones, and exercise.
Prisoners who carry out kitchen, laundry, and cleaning work are allowed to continue.
As of now, visits are not allowed.
The Prison Officer Association said prisoners due at court will be discharged to attend unless the courts’ service advise us otherwise.
The visits will not restarts for at least 21 days as prisons are establishing new long-term safety arrangements.
The Prison Officer Association said they have “praised the decision of the Secretary of State for Justice and the Director of Public Sector Prisons for their decision to place Prisons in England and Wales on immediate lockdown.”
The new measures were announced yesterday.
While announcing, the Ministry of Justice said: “We have suspended all prison visits in England and Wales for today.”
The Ministry added, “This is while we ensure safe and secure functioning of our prisons while enforcing social distancing. If you have a visit booked today, please do not attend.”
As of writing this article, there have been 424,114 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus throughout the world.
The virus has caused the deaths of 18,931 people.
In the United Kingdom, 8,077 people have been confirmed to have the coronavirus.