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New guidance published to help social distancing in public spaces

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Communities Minister Carál Ní Chuilín has announced the publication of Guidance for Urban Centres and Green Spaces.

The guidance will provide owners and operators of public spaces, including councils and landlords, with information and examples of measures that may be undertaken to adapt and manage public spaces in order to help social distancing.

It is intended to enable them to plan for the temporary adaptations and interventions that will be needed as the restrictions on staying at home are reduced and we move through the stages of the Executive’s Covid-19 Recovery Plan.

Minister Ní Chuilín said: “It is important that we use our Public spaces constructively as we progress our Covid-19 Recovery Plan. These places can be utilised positively in supporting local businesses and in providing areas for exercise and relaxation. Their role will be even more important in the weeks and months ahead.

“Whilst this guidance is mainly intended for owners and operators of public places, it remains the responsibility of the individual user of such places to act on all guidance.”

The Minister added: “The retail and hospitality sectors have been hit particularly hard by the coronavirus crisis and the road to recovery for them presents a particular challenge. The outdoor spaces close to hotels, bars, restaurants and cafés could be utilised to maximise the opportunity for these businesses to deliver their services, while ensuring the safety of both staff and customers. This guidance will help identify the interventions required to tailor these spaces to social distancing requirements.”

The guidance can be found at https://www.communities-ni.gov.uk/publications/guidance-urban-centres-and-green-spaces-covid-19

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