PRISON authorities and Public Health England are taking measures to contain a large Covid-19 outbreak among prisoners and staff at HMP Erlestoke near Devizes.

It is understood that nearly 80 prisoners and staff have been affected by the deadly coronavirus at the Category C men's prison, located to the east of the village.

The Gazette & Herald was contacted earlier today by connections to the prison who felt the authorities were not taking the outbreak seriously.

But a Prison Service spokesman said: “Our priority is to limit the spread of the virus and protect the lives of those who live and work in our prisons.

“We have taken precautionary measures at Erlestoke, in line with public health guidance, and will continue to closely monitor the situation.”

The service said they are working closely with Public Health England and staff and prisoners have access to appropriate personal protective equipment.