A Highland jail that had managed to hold off the coronavirus since March is now experiencing a cluster of cases, the Scottish Prison Service has confirmed.
HM Prison Inverness, also known as Porterfield Prison, had reported no cases of Covid-19 since the start of the outbreak, but the Scottish Prison Service has revealed that under five cases have now been identified at the site.
The first case is understood to have been discovered between Christmas and New Year, with the outbreak impacting prisoners rather than staff.
HMP Prison Inverness had recorded no Covid-19 cases between March and November 2020.
A spokeswoman for the Scottish Prison Service said: “The safety and wellbeing of those living and working in our prisons is a priority for the Scottish Prison Service.
“We have robust pandemic plans in place as we manage and support those in our care during these challenging times.”
Highlands and Islands MSP Edward Mountain said: “I know that prison staff are doing everything they can to ensure that HMP Inverness is as safe as possible from the spread of the coronavirus.
“It is now important to ensure that this cluster is contained.
“Of course this would be much easier if we had a modern prison instead of an establishment that was built in the Victorian era and is no longer fit for purpose.”