Covid19, Lockdown Easing, and Public Conveniences

Our helpline has received a number of calls asking about reopening public conveniences as with the ending of lockdown has come calls for the re-opening of public toilets. While there is no single source of guidance on this, we have put together the following advice based on Government, and from the actions of those local authorities who have opened some units following risk assessments.

Only open those units where social distancing can be reasonably managed. We would suggest ‘reasonable management’ of social distancing may include:

  • An attendant to control access / signage and two metre markers / single access units.
  • Close, deep clean and sanitise frequently – say every two hours (see below on cleaning)
  • Reduced opening hours to match the available cleaning regime.
  • Provide external hand sanitisers.
  • Provide paper towels or electrical, non-contact driers.
  • Providing more waste facilities and more frequent rubbish collection.
  • Use posters to promote social distancing and personal hygiene.
  • A formal risk assessment should be prepared and a cleaning specification.

Cleaning public toilets:

  •  Work on the premise that the building has been contaminated.
  • Clean comprehensively with normal household disinfectant.
  • Wear disposable or washing-up gloves and aprons, with protection for the eyes, mouth and nose to avoid splashes. These should be double-bagged, then stored securely for 72 hours then thrown away in the regular rubbish after cleaning is finished.
  • Use a disposable cloth and disposable mop-head to clean and disinfect surfaces. Dispose of as for gloves and aprons.
  • Wash hands with soap and water after removing gloves, aprons and other protection used while cleaning. Use either paper towels or electrical drier.