Public Lavatories: Coronavirus

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 10th August 2020.

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Photo of Baroness Randerson Baroness Randerson Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Transport)

To ask Her Majesty's Government when they last updated the guidance to local authorities and other providers of public toilets on additional hygiene precautions required during the COVID-19 pandemic; what organisations they consulted before drafting that guidance; and where that guidance is publicly available.

Photo of Lord Greenhalgh Lord Greenhalgh Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government), The Minister of State, Home Department

Government has made clear through COVID-19 guidance that public toilets, portable toilets and toilets inside premises should be kept open and carefully managed to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19. To support this, Government, with input from Public Health England, has produced guidance principles on the additional hygiene precautions that should be considered to effectively manage public toilet provision and help everyone maintain good hygiene during the COVID-19 pandemic. Suggested measures include using signs to promote good hand hygiene, providing suitable handwashing and hand drying facilities, and increasing the frequency of cleaning of facilities.

These principles were included in The Safer Public Places - Urban Centres and Green Spaces guidance on 26 June for the owners and operators of public spaces as well as other COVID-19 Secure guidance such as Working Safely during Coronavirus. These are published on In addition, on 28 June, I wrote jointly with the Environment Minister to local authorities setting out the Government’s position that public toilets should be open wherever possible. This letter included advice on COVID-19 secure measures.

As the situation is constantly evolving, we will keep guidance under review to ensure it provides the information needed.

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