BRITAIN’S public loos remain in a state of national crisis tonight after the Culture Secretary confirmed it was up to councils to reopen them again.
Oliver Dowden said today that the Royal Parks in London will be asked to open their doors to visitors as the lockdown measures are lifted.
The news will be a relief to millions of people in the capital who want to enjoy the city’s open spaces – many of whom don’t have gardens to lounge around in – but have nowhere to use the bathroom when they go out.
But it’s up to individual councils whether they will open them up in their areas, the Culture Secretary said tonight.
Mr Dowden told the Downing Street briefing: “On toilets, i should emphasise that toilets don’t fall within my ministerial portfolio aside from the royal parks which is one of DCMS arms length bodies.
“I know at DCLG the Secretary of state has set very clear guidance that they should be opening those toilets, and I do agree with that.”
All shops in England are now allowed to be open once again after lockdown measures were lifted.
But toilets in shopping centres may not be, which could be why many are choosing to stay away.
Brits with health conditions who need to use toilets have urged ministers and councils to force toilets to reopen.
The charity Crohn’s and Colitis UK has urged local councils and shopping centres to open public toilets “as soon as they can, if social distancing measures are safely put in place”.
However, cash-strapped councils will have to fork out for staff to make sure they are regularly cleaned, and people can social distance as best they can.
Scientists have found that the coronvirus could be transferred through using the toilet.
People in England are allowed to nip into a friend’s home to use the loo if they are out.
But they can’t dilly dally and stay too long inside, and the toilet area must be wiped down after use.
Regular hand-washing is still encouraged to fight back against the virus, the PM has said.
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