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New policy to tackle risks of COVID-19 includes plan for:
* Increased social distancing signage
* More cleaning of toilets and car park machines
* Limits on number of people using lifts
* Queuing system outside toilets and cafes
Measures to ensure safer public spaces across Lichfield and Burntwood in the wake of the coronavirus crisis have been unveiled.
Lichfield District Council says a new policy will ensure the easing of the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions will mitigate risks of future outbreaks.
The measures include increasing signage on social distancing, upping the cleaning of facilities such as public toilets and car park machines.
There will also be a queuing system at cafes and toilets in parks managed by the council.
Councillor Iain Eadie, cabinet member for investment, economic growth and tourism, said:
“For everyone emerging from lockdown it is going to be a learning process.
“We might not get everything right first time and as things unfold, we might need to change what we all do.
“Our policy approach just now is based on trusting people to follow the social distancing guidance and highlighting the safeguards that need to be in place to protect our residents, visitors and businesses.
“If we need to bring in stewarding, one way flows to safeguard people navigating around our town and city centres, or, taking steps to avoid any pinch points, we will do that.
“We will do whatever it takes to make sure our district is safe and COVID-19 secure.”Cllr Iain Eadie, Lichfield District Council
“You should not be meeting up in groups regardless of age”
The policy also encourages business owners to adopt measures to enable people to safely access premises.
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As well as promoting where cycle racks are located across the district, the document encourages people to pay for parking at the council’s car parks using the pay by phone facility in order to minimise contact with keypads on traditional machines.
Other restrictions include only two people at a time in public lifts – or only single family groups if they include children.
“Partnership working is going to be key.
“We are already talking with Three Spires Shopping Centre about their plans and with the Lichfield BID about additional signage, hand sanitisers and a range of other measures to keep shoppers safe.
“We are looking at opening our own public toilets for longer, while also highlighting where cycle racks are located for those who want to cycle or walk into our shopping centres.
“Being able to trust people to do the right thing means I want to ask anyone venturing out to our parks and centres to remember to keep two metres apart from anyone who is not from the same household.
“If you are meeting up with someone from outside your own household, please remember it is with just one other person.
“You should not be meeting up in groups regardless of age. To keep safe it is sensible to wash your hands before and after going out.”Cllr Iain Eadie, Lichfield District Council
“We know lockdown has been hard for an awful lot of people”
Cllr Eadie’s comments come amidst report of large groups gathering at locations such as Beacon Park.
He said it was important people continued to follow the guidance.
“We know lockdown has been hard for an awful lot of people – with the sun shining people want to go out and see friends and family.
“We are not at that point yet, so if everyone can keep following the social distancing guidance, we can help protect each other and look forward to a time when we can open the city, town and village centres up fully.”Cllr Iain Eadie, Lichfield District Council
The full document is available to view at www.lichfielddc.gov.uk/saferpublicspaces.