Around 40 prisoners are self-isolating after a wing of HMP Grampian was forced into lockdown when an inmate developed Covid-19 symptoms.
The lockdown, understood to have been imposed on Friday, was put in place as a precaution after a prisoner began to display symptoms consistent with coronavirus.
As a result the entire wing, which contains around 40 inmates, was placed in lockdown, with prisoners not allowed to leave their cells.
A spokesman for the Scottish Prison Service confirmed: “A number of prisoners are being held in isolation pending the outcome of a test of an individual that showed symptoms of Covid-19.”
The spokesman added there are currently no confirmed cases of coronavirus at HMP Grampian.
Two previous outbreaks at prison
At Aberdeen Sheriff Court on Friday two cases, in which the accused had been expected to appear via a video link from the Peterhead prison, had to call without the accused as they could not be brought to the video room.
In one case, explaining to the court why his client was not there, defence agent Tony Burgess said: “Apparently someone else within the hall has shown symptoms and because of that they locked down that particular ward.”
Last month the prison was hit by two outbreaks of the virus.
On January 23, it was reported that five people at the prison had contracted Covid-19, with the SPS implementing measures to prevent it from spreading.
And on January 8 it was reported nine inmates had caught the virus, as part of a wider outbreak at the Peterhead site totalling 27 cases and involving staff and prisoners, which was believed to have begun in November.
On that occasion, an SPS spokeswoman said the prison was still able to operate “as normal.
She said: “At the moment we have nine confirmed prisoner cases of Covid-19 and a handful of staff cases. A local incident management team is in place to manage the outbreak.
“However, the prison is still operating as normal.
“Anyone who arrives at the prison displaying symptoms is isolated as per our protocol. They do not mix with the general population.
“Prisons are a complex environment in which to control infections. Since the start of the pandemic we have been managing it effectively.
“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.”