Published: 17:56, 22 May 2020
| Updated: 18:47, 22 May 2020
Public loos are set to reopen this bank holiday weekend at some of Kent's most popular beaches.
Soaring temperatures have seen crowds flock to the county's coastline in recent days, as lockdown restrictions have begun to ease and journeys by car “to outdoor open spaces irrespective of distance” are now permitted.
With more sunshine in store for this weekend, Thanet District Council has announced it will be reopening public loos at four popular coastal spots.
From this Saturday, toilets at Margate Main Sands, Viking Bay, Joss Bay and near Ramsgate's Wetherspoon pub will be open to the public from 10am until 5pm daily. Disabled facilities will also be available.
Cllr Steve Albon, cabinet member for operational services at Thanet District Council, 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."
He added that special measures will be in place at the reopened bathrooms, to help keep users safe.
“They will be signposted with information on maintaining social distancing, a request to keep cubicles clean and hand washing instructions," he said.
“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."
Cllr Albon says the toilets, which will be cleaned regularly, will be closed if members of the public are abusive to staff, or fail to respect social distancing guidelines when interacting with them.
He also urged beachgoers to refrain from going to the loo outdoors, and from leaving litter behind during their visit.
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"At the beaches where there aren’t any open toilets, using the surrounding area is totally unacceptable," he said.
“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."
More by this authorLydia Chantler-Hicks