Six children in secure units test negative for coronavirus

Justice minister Humza Yousaf said the young people have been in isolation.

Six children in secure care units in Scotland have tested negative for coronavirus.

The figures were revealed by justice minister Humza Yousaf in a letter to the Scottish Parliament’s justice committee.

The letter outlined work to maintain policing and the justice system during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mr Yousaf said six young people across Scotland’s five secure centres have recently been in isolation, with each testing negative for the virus.

Secure accommodation is for children under 18 who “who may be a significant risk to themselves, or others in the community”.

A number of staff are absent at each of Scotland’s five centres due to self-isolation.

Mr Yousaf  said remaining staff “have access to PPE and are able to care for the young people in isolation”.

The justice minister also addressed the situation in Scotland’s prisons, saying that prison staff “have secured a sufficient level of personal protection equipment”.

Communal dining in prisons has been suspended, he said, as has all temporary absence, including home leave, work placements and escorted leave.

Large group physical activity within gyms and work parties “not deemed as essential services to keep the prison running” have also been axed.

Mr Yousaf said: “The wellbeing and safety of all those who live and work in our prisons as they respond to this unprecedented operational and public health challenge facing our prisons, is a priority for both this government and the Scottish Prison Service.”

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