A north-east jail has been hit by a fresh outbreak of Covid-19 after several inmates tested positive for the virus.
Five people have contracted coronavirus so far, and the Scottish Prison Service (SPS) has put infection control measures in place in a bid to curb the spread of the virus.
A spokeswoman for SPS 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.
“Plans include issuing PPE and guidance for use, as well as self isolation as a precaution and testing is also available.”
Earlier this month, the Evening Express revealed more than two dozen people, including prisoners and staff, had contracted Covid as part of a separate outbreak.
At least 27 people became infected as a result of the outbreak, which began in November last year.
A total of 761 sick days were taken by staff who had either tested positive or had to isolate due to being identified as a close contact.
North-east MSP and shadow justice secretary Liam Kerr said at the time: “There is a huge responsibility and pressure placed on prison officers which have been even greater during this pandemic.
“It highlights the high-risk nature of a job where prisoners constantly have to be supervised in a close environment.
“The SPS has contingency plans in place to deal with situations like this but it’s important the Scottish Government realises the Covid dangers posed to these hardworking members of staff and ensures all appropriate resources are available to help.”
A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “SPS is taking all steps necessary to minimise the risk of infection across prisons, with clear personal protection equipment guidance provided to all staff in line with the latest health protection advice.
“In addition, action has been taken so physical distancing can be adhered to in prisons, including enhanced controls and additional hygiene measures to regulate interactions and contact between people.”