Public toilets at reduced capacity as stores re-open




Reduced public toilet capacity

In the UK, non-essential shops have reopened. There were reports of how the discount fashion outlet Primark experienced an unprecedented demand from customers. With long queues outside some of the Primark locations, some stores opened up earlier than scheduled. It is reported that some shoppers waited overnight to be among the first to shop. This build-up in anticipation and huge queues is as a result of a 3-months closure due to the COVID-19 imposed lockdown by the government. Non-essential shops such as Primark had to close to limit the spread of the virus. The 2-metre rule set by the government meant shoppers had to queue 2-metre apart and some Primark stores limited the number of customers allowed to shop at any time to about 500. The number of shoppers allowed in a store will vary on the size and location of the given store.

Public toilets for the UK shopper

Shopping before COVID-19 was a breeze for so many. We dash down to our favourite store and grab a pack of socks or vests. We could be out in minutes. These are now strange times with the shops and shoppers adjusting to social distancing guidelines. Some councils are shutting down public toilets as a result of funding constraints. There are still public toilets in major shopping centres but we are now expecting longer queues for these facilities. Bar, pubs and restaurants are still closed as at the time of writing this piece. The importance of social distancing and heightened toilet hygiene standards will lead to longer toilet queues for shoppers. With the reality on the ground, people need  to plan their shopping with accessibility to public facilities in mind.

How to deal with the reduced capacity of toilets as stores reopen

Here are some tips that will help you shop for your desired products and still gain access to a toilet facility if necessary.

  1. Shop Online:  Buying your favourite product or replenishing your toiletries have never been easier with Amazon a click away. An assortment of products at competitive prices are on Amazon and other shopping sites, which should alleviate the hassle that comes with shopping. Amazon offers next day delivery with Prime and other eCommerce sites having expedited shipping options. To prevent the long queues at the public facilities in shopping malls, it is best to shop online. 
  2. Visit during off-peak hours: To avoid the queues it is best to visit during less busy hours. This could be quite early on a business day when people are busy working from home. Understanding the footfall trends at your local store or preferred shop will help you beat the traffic.
  3. Check a distant or remote store: High Street shops could attract more people than a remote one. You could visit a different location of your favourite store.
  4. Use the toilet before you leave: Before going to a shopping expedition in this age of COVID-19, it is best to do a number one or two before leaving the home. You want to reduce the need for a public facility.
  5. Check the status of public facilities at the council level: The reopening of public toilets is at the discretion of councils per government guidance. It is important to verify councils that are reopening public toilets and carry out your shopping from that local area. This will ensure there are available public units if you become pressed. 

These tips will help you effectively toilet-plan for your shopping expeditions.

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