Visitors will be allowed at state prisons again starting next week.
As of Tuesday, June 1, visitors will be permitted at all 16 state prisons. The state Department of Correction says it will still follow health guidelines, require face coverings, and take other precautions.
Visitors will not have to be vaccinated but will be screened for potential coronavirus exposure and will be required to use hand sanitizer. Each prisoner will be allowed one visit each week.
The department says it will continue to follow public health guidance and data, including positive test rates within its facilities and in the broader community. Gov. Charlie Baker placed inmates and correctional staff among the first priority groups for COVID-19 vaccination and the DOC has administered over 15,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses to inmates and staff.
Prison visits stopped at the start of the pandemic in March of last year, but resumed in September. The DOC stopped them again in November because of outbreaks of the virus.
Earlier this month, visits resumed at four DOC pre-release and minimum security facilities.
The DOC says 21 prisoners died from the virus during the pandemic. That number does not include at least three men who died after being granted medical parole.