Scottish Government issues toilets guidance

NEW signage, floor markings and “enhanced monitoring” of facilities are among the steps operators will be expected to introduce in customer toilets as they reopen for business.

New guidance from the Scottish Government on public and customer toilets lays out the various measures operators will be required to take to ensure hygiene standards in toilet facilities are maintained.

The guidance, which can be viewed here, includes sections on ‘enhanced cleaning’ – with venues instructed to increase cleaning frequency and pay particular attention to “frequently touched” areas including toilet flushes, seats and handles; ‘equipment’ – which includes removing any reusable equipment such as towels and baby mats with disposable versions; and ‘physical distancing’ – with signage and floor markings helping customers to maintain social distancing and operators encouraged to limit the number of people allowed into the toilets at any one time.

The guidance states that reopening public and customer toilets “carries with it a risk of transmission of COVID-19 given the low levels of natural light, lack of ventilation, many surfaces to touch and the purpose of a toilet”.

“Therefore, there is a need for careful consideration of how public toilets can be opened as safely as possible,” it states.

“Safe opening will vary according to specific sectors and should align to the guidance provided by those sectors in terms of restart. Assurance that adequate sanitary facilities can be provided where appropriate is integral to the restart process.

“Public toilets are defined as any toilets accessible to the public. The opening of toilets should be accompanied by local risk assessment, and control measures should be proactively monitored by operators.

“Most premises should have a norovirus policy that can be adapted for use in cleaning facilities if an individual with COVID-19 symptoms is known to have used the facilities.”

The Scottish Government has confirmed that customers of outdoor areas will be able to use venue toilets “providing all the appropriate public health measures – as set out in the guidance – are observed”.

Outdoor areas are expected to open on July 6 with venues able to open their interiors on July 15.