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More toilets to reopen

ORKNEY Islands Council is reopening a further six public toilets.

This will bring the total number of toilets now open to the public to 41.

The latest to reopen are at Stronsay, Skaill, Dounby, Aikerness, and at the ferry waiting rooms in Tingwall and Houton. The toilets at Birsay will also open soon, after some essential maintenance work.

The move follows a successful drive to recruit additional mobile attendants to join the team keeping the toilets clean.

Hayley Green, the council’s head of IT and facilities, said: “I’m really pleased that the vast majority of Orkney’s public toilets are open once more — after all were closed at the beginning of lockdown.

“Considerable work is needed at each site in line with Covid-19 hygiene and physical distancing requirements. This is why we needed to recruit more cleaning staff before this batch could open again.”

Although the toilets at Tingwall and Houton are opening, the ticket offices at both sites remain closed for face-to-face transactions because of coronavirus restrictions.

The waiting room and toilets at the Shapinsay Slip in Kirkwall have been closed temporarily after reports of anti-social behaviour taking place. The Kirkwall Travel Centre remains closed for the same reason.

The toilets at St Magnus Lane in Kirkwall are closed for repairs, while those at Lyness are open on an occasional basis at present.

Hayley added: “I would like to thank local people and visitors for their patience and co-operation as we’ve gone through the process of reopening toilets across the county.”

An interactive map showing public toilets that are currently open — and the facilities they offer — is available on the orkney.com website here: https://www.orkney.com/map/public-toilets

As always at Halloween, all public toilets will be closed on the afternoon of Saturday, October 31, and reopen on Sunday, November 1.