Lichfield District Council House

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.

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.

Iain Eadie

“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.

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8 Comments

  1. It will be interesting to see the measures regarding restaurants and cafes because there are so many quite close to each other.

  2. Now that we are well into the social distance etiquette and the ‘new normal’, I am still trying to find a document with clear scientific evidence concerning the 2 metre distance diktat being imposed on us all.
    Clr Eadie can you please direct me to this very important document as your link doesn’t seem to provide any evidence whatsoever.

  3. Cearbhaill, there is not a defined distance that is totally safe. Some countries specify one and a half meters, but in reality it’s about exposure to droplets containing the virus. If someone sneezes it transports droplets over long distances. In still air, like indoors, this could fill an average size room. Outside, reasonable air circulation would dissipate and dilute it quite quickly. Also surface contamination is a similar threat that is not distance related.
    Understandably, people are looking for absolutes, guarantees and certainties; these are not possible. People are fed up, frustrated and worried about the many ramifications that have arisen from this epidemic. Especially the likes of work, schooling and the economy.
    The chances of dying from it are still small. As little is known about what long term consequences for those infected is yet to be discovered there are still concerns for everyone.
    Less than ten percent are thought to have been infected so far. Since everyone is susceptible there is a long way to go yet. I am not being unduly negative, and hope that coronavirus might just spontaneously disappear. There is still much sense in taking all sensible measures to protect yourself and others. Coronavirus doesn’t carry a measuring stick.

  4. @Cearbhaill
    https://academic.oup.com/jid/article/207/7/1037/2192312

    …that looks like it may have been the first study to identify that it wasn’t a good idea to stand closer than 2m to patients with flu virus, I expect there are more recent studies. That search took me about 5 minutes, I wonder why it’s taking you so long to find anything?

    You do believe that we are in a viral epidemic don’t you?

  5. That’s a good analysis Asellus aquaticus. It’s conclusion is that infection is still possible at six feet under normal conditions. It is all a question of droplet size, air conditions and distance projected. Thanks, while two meters might offer a reduced threat there is still enough virus to cause infection.

  6. Thank you for the link. Very interesting although I notice that the setting for the study is in a 885 bed teaching Hospital, hardly the ideal healthy environment to test for the spread of influenza viral droplets.
    How silly of you to ask whether I believe there is a viral pandemic. What I do believe is that decisions are being continually made on a worse case scenario basis even though we now know that the worse case scenario is no longer valid. Given the cost of lockdown which is being compounded every day, why are we still pursuing policies on bad data based on bad modelling over three months ago. Why are we continuing to drive society and the economy off the edge of a cliff into a a so called ‘new normal’.I have a few ideas but it is nothing to do with the real Covid19 pandemic.

  7. Well Cearbhaill, if you have ideas this is the site to express them. I personally can’t see anything clandestine about the decisions made, although some would adopt a different approach to the epidemic.
    The research you question above was not about an infection but about the distance you have to be to be vulnerable. The method used seems logical to me. There are of course many different situations this research dosen’t cover. As I have already said, people want definitive information which is not available.
    In the past such epidemics just had to run their course. There was a distancing policy in 1918-1919, similar to the one we are using. The Worldwide death rate is estimated as 100,000.000. Somehow I don’t think that would be politically acceptable these days. Perhaps we are lucky that coronavirus seems to be slightly less infectious, but it is capable of doing great damage.
    I would be genuinely interested in your opinions. I am not slow myself to express less popular ideas. That is the nature of debate and the way opinions get formed.

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