Public toilets at Ramsgate (by Wetherspoon), Viking Bay (Harbour Street), Joss Bay and Margate (Nayland) will be reopened by Thanet council this weekend (May 23).
The toilets, which have been shut since March 25 in line with government coronavirus protection guidance, are likely to be available from 10am until 5pm.
The council says more public loos across the isle could follow depending on resources.
The toilets will be manned by operatives wearing PPE and there will be an increase in cleaning, meaning they may have to close at times during the day for a 20 mnute period.
All toilet cubicles will be unisex with urinals closed because of the rules on social distancing,
Signs will ask people to use the toilets on a one in/one out system.
The plans are subject to change if deemed necessary.
Cllr Steve Albon, Cabinet Member for Operational Services said: “Following the shift in the Government’s lockdown restrictions to allow people to spend more time outside, we have been working to find a safe solution for the reopening of some of our public toilets.
“We recognise that people are choosing to make the most of the new guidelines but we want to reiterate that they must do so safely and respectfully. At the beaches where there aren’t any open toilets, using the surrounding area is totally unacceptable. We are doing all we can to offer some provision on our main beaches initially and ask that people plan ahead.
“Where toilets are open, there will be a number of measures in place to provide a clean and safe environment for people using them. They will be signposted with information on maintaining social distancing, a request to keep cubicles clean and hand washing instructions.
“We will be relying on members of the public to respect the space and to act in a responsible way so that everyone who needs to use the facilities is able to do so as safely as possible.
“The toilets will be cleaned by council staff regularly throughout the day and will be closed while cleaning takes place.
“If members of the public are abusive to our staff, use offensive language or fail to respect the social distancing guidelines when interacting with them, the crew will close the facilities. Being abused by the public isn’t part of the job.
“As well as using the toilets provided, we also want to remind beachgoers that they must take their litter off the beach to a bin, or if the bin is full home. While people were required to stay at home during lockdown, the volume of litter on the beaches was close to zero. It is deeply disappointing that after just a few days of additional freedoms people are dumping rubbish on the beach where it will end up in the sea.
“As always, these are the actions of a small minority of people. We appreciate that the vast majority of our residents and visitors do respect the rules and behave in a way that helps to protect our beautiful coastline.”
However, some Birchington and Westgate residents are angry that their beaches are packed with no toilets open. One said: “People are going to toilet behind beach huts, in the grass, up walls, anywhere they can. The risk to public health in this hot weather is huge.”
Yesterday hundreds of people flocked to beaches on the isle despite there being no facilities open. There followed complaints of people urinating and defecating in public
Thanet mum Sonia Hammond said the mess left behind was ‘disgusting’ and that she and her eight-year-old cleaned up three sacks of rubbish.
Well hope they get more than a 5 min look in and really get cleaned!we live in hope
Great news! Looks like their solution is the same as mine posted here in yesterday’s article on the subject. Let’s hope there are more to follow..
It that is the case, can they Corden off the beaches that will not have toilets available, eg Botany Bay etc
Well said Roy, absolute disgrace to allow hundreds of visitors to a beach with no facilities. NO PARKING, NO TOILETS, NOTHING TO BUY. Who would ever think that makes sense? TDC of course. This must not be allowed to continue!!
The disabled one at broadstairs bandstand was open until this week. No idea why they suddenly closed it. There’s no need for an attendant there as you can wash your hands, unlock the door before washing your hands again and just use your foot to open the door.
I think all toilets should have an attendant, even the disabled as some people do not care about anyone else and just leave an awful mess behind making it a PPE job to clean up afterwards.
Well done Sonia and daughter for me if i ho anywhere i always put rubbish in the bins
We live in Minnis Bay and have been really busy with visitors but no toilets. Apparently there is piles of human waste behind the stored beach huts and the entrances to the toilets is swimming with urine. Rang council but didn’t seem that interested tbh. Add that to the piles of rubbish left behind by the inconsiderate visitors. Everyone has has plenty of time to prepare for lockdown being over so there is really no excuse.
I am fed up with listening to Tory ministers telling me how we are leading the world in pollution and litter.Thanet is a disgrace.I do not think it’s a minority of people either.The council play their part by their lack of bins.
Takeaway shops should be made to think about how they package their products.Sugar and salt sachets,tissues,coffee cups,etc should be banned.France and Spain are spotless.We should be ashamed of ourselves.Saving the planet.Joke