Visiting correctional institutions during the COVID-19 pandemic

Important: Visitors to Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) institutions and offices are required to wear a mask. CSC continues to follow Public Service Occupational Health Program COVID-19 Guidance, which requires masks to be worn in all Government of Canada workplaces.

As of November 15, 2021, visitors 12 and older must show proof that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Find out more about the proof of vaccination requirement.

Health and safety measures are in place to protect offenders, staff, and visitors during the COVID-19 pandemic. Find out whether an institution is open for visits, use our screening questions to see if it is safe to visit, and learn what you must do before and after your visit.

Proof of vaccination requirement

As of November 15, 2021, visitors age 12 and older must provide proof they are fully vaccinated each time they enter a federal correctional institution, community correctional centre, or parole office.

Review the requirements based on your situation:

I am fully vaccinated

To be considered fully vaccinated, an individual must have received the full series of a COVID-19 vaccine authorized in Canada at least 14 days prior to their visit. The booster is not considered part of the full series. Visitors must show CSC staff an electronic or paper proof of vaccination.

I need an exemption

Visitors who are unable to be vaccinated and want to seek an exemption can do so on the following grounds:

Documentation supporting the request for exemption must be provided prior to a visit by contacting the site. In addition to this, those with exemptions must show proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test each time they enter the institution. For testing, the following is accepted:

*Self-tests will not be accepted.

Visitors seeking an exemption are asked to contact the site before their visit for information on the process of submitting their exemption request and supporting documentation for review.

I am accompanied by children

Children under the age of 12 are not currently subject to this new requirement.

I am unvaccinated

I am a volunteer

For policies applicable for volunteers, please visit:

Planning your visit

You must be registered on the inmate’s authorized visitors' list. Visits must be booked at least 48 hours in advance by contacting the institution. If you do not book an appointment, we will not be able to contact you if the visit is canceled due to a lockdown or other reason.

You will be asked a series of questions at the time of booking:

Additional measures may be put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Please note measures are evolving based on public health advice and community transmission.

A maximum of three visitors are permitted at a time, which can include up to two children.

Due to reduced capacity, normally only one visit per week per visitor will be permitted (though some sites may be able to accommodate more than one visit a week).

Masks are mandatory. It is recommended that you bring your own or one will be provided. Please ensure you know how to properly wear a mask.

You cannot bring food, beverages, or personal belongings into the institution. Exceptions may be made for accessibility reasons. Exceptions may also be made for small children that require diapers, bottles, and other items.

Visits will be limited to 1.5 hours.

Monitor your health and know the symptoms of COVID-19:

Do not come to the institution if you are sick. If you are not sure, take this assessment:

During your visit

In addition to regular security protocols, visitors age 12 and up must provide proof they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

If they are unable to be vaccinated, they must request an exemption in advance and bring a recent negative COVID-19 test result to their visit. Please contact the site in advance if you require an exemption. More information regarding exemptions and testing is available here:

Visitors will be screened upon arrival:

Visitors may have their temperature taken by a non-touch thermometer. If you have symptoms, you will not be permitted to enter.

Visitors will be required to wash their hands for 20 seconds and wear a mask during their entire visit.

Vending machines will not be available.

Play areas will be closed and toys will not be permitted.

Physical distancing is proven to be one of the most effective ways to reduce the spread of illness during an outbreak.

After your visit

Thank you for doing your part in keeping our institutions safe and healthy.

Infographic: Visiting an inmate at a CSC institution during COVID-19

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