By Michael McHugh, PA
Three prisoners have tested positive for Covid-19 in Ireland, the Prison Service said.
Two are in high-security Portlaoise and one in the progression unit in Mountjoy.
A Prison Service statement said: “The prisoners were not recently committed to prison therefore they have contracted the virus within the prison.
“Families of the infected prisoners have been informed.
“Outbreak Control Teams (OCT) have now been established in Portlaoise and Mountjoy to agree and oversee the appropriate actions to be taken to mitigate against further possible spread of the disease within those prisons.”
The high security jail at Portlaoise houses those sent to custody from the Special Criminal Court and involved in terrorism-related crime.
The prison service is working closely with the HSE and making arrangements for mass testing of prisoners and staff in both locations.
The statement added: “To help prevent the spread of infection a more restricted regime has been introduced in both prisons which may impact on access to video visits and phone calls in the short terms for prisoners in precautionary isolation however we are working to ensure that we can continue to facilitate family contact as far as possible.”