Vaccine passports in pubs 'not going to work' says Schofield
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It’s been a long few months since we’ve been able to get together with friends and family over a meal cooked by someone other than ourselves, but finally, April 12 is upon us. Pubs, cafes, bars and restaurants are able to reopen for outside service as England enters its second stage of the lockdown roadmap.
Walks in the parks, drinks and a takeaway perched on a wall and quick helloes in the freezing cold have become our standard for socialisation so far in 2021, which has undoubtedly ended in more than a few of us needing to use the loo when in public.
Usually, we’d just head to a nearby restaurant or pub and pop in to use their facilities, but that hasn’t been an option.
And for many disappointed park-goers, they’ve found their local public toilets haven’t been open either.
Without an open public toilet in sight, will this finally come to an end on Monday?
Will public toilets reopen on Monday, April 12?
The Government’s guidelines haven’t specified anything about public toilets having to reopen on April 12, but they also haven’t forced them to shut in the first place.
Across the UK, public loos are owned and managed by various different councils, who are usually left to make that decision for themselves.
Although there’s been a huge issue with people needing toilets but not being able to find them, many public toilets based on or near big parks have remained shut, as have a lot in train and bus stations.
In June 2020, Local Government Minister Simon Clarke and Environment Minister Rebecca Pow published a letter to councils, which set out the government’s position on public access to municipal public toilets.
They thanked the local councils who kept public toilets open, saying: “Public hygiene is of the utmost importance, especially during the coronavirus pandemic, and enabling residents to access toilets safely is vital.
“Closed toilets may also impact disproportionately on certain groups who for health reasons rely on access to public toilets to be able to leave their homes.
“They can also make life difficult for young families and people who work outside.”
It was also stated last summer that if local authorities had public toilets which were still shut, they were strongly urged by the Government to reopen in a safe way.
They added councils should consider the harm to public health and the local environment caused by people relieving themselves in public.
Throughout the colder months, there has been no official statements or guidance from officials to close down public toilets, so as it stands, the guidance should be the same as it was in June 2020.
If your local toilets aren’t currently open, it could be worth checking in with your local council.
How to check which public toilets are currently open near me?
Some amazing anonymous tech-geniuses set up the very handy Lockdown Loo back in 2020, which made it easy for Brits to pin locations of open toilets they found on a map.
A year on, the map is going strong with the creators asking people to keep on top of their public toilet-visiting activity and to mark which ones are open or shut.
You can visit the map here
The user-maintained app has worked wonders for many trekking around trying to find an open loo, but can’t be considered 100 percent accurate.
For the moment, it’s the best that’s available, but hopefully, any desperate toilet-needers will be able to find a kind member of staff at an open restaurant who will let you use their own facilities.
Just make sure you wash your hands and wear your mask!
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