More than 12,000 NSW prisoners will be able to have visitors for the first time in eight months after being locked down at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Corrective Services NSW Commissioner Peter Severin said in-person visits would be reintroduced with strict COVID-safe regulations from next Monday after they were suspended in March.
There would be restrictions on the number of visitors, the length of the visit and strict physical-distancing would be enforced.
"Correctional facilities are particularly vulnerable environments and we all need to work together to reduce the risk of COVID-19 entering our centres," Mr Severin said on Monday.
Almost 150,000 video visits had taken place across the state during the past seven months and the option would still be available as an alternative to in-person visits, he said.
All visitors will be required to comply with new safety measures such as physical distancing, screening criteria, temperature checks and surgical masks would have to be worn for the entire visit.
There would also be a limit of two visitors (two adults or one child and one adult) per inmate.
A fist or elbow bump at the beginning and end of the visit would be permitted, but inmates and their visitors must maintain physical distance at all other times.
The overall number of visits has been reduced to apply the four square metre rule and visits would be limited to 30 minutes.
"I would ask all visitors to please be responsible and not come to a correctional centre if you are experiencing any symptoms associated with COVID-19," Mr Severin said.
Phone lines will be open from 18 November for in-person visit bookings.
Australian Associated Press