Many of Dundee’s public buildings and top attractions, including the McManus Art Gallery and Museum and Olympia swimming pool are to open next week.
The opening of these, along with others such as Camperdown Wildlife Centre and city libraries will happen from April 26, to coincide with the further easing of lockdown taking place from that date.
Dundee City Council have revealed plans for the phased approach they are to be taking to reopening some of the city’s public buildings and services.
However the council have warned the public that nothing is likely to be “the same as before.”
A spokesman said: “Not everything will be as it was before. It will be some time yet before some of our services and buildings are open again.”
Also included will be day care and respite centres, as well as Dundee House, by appointment only, for dealing with key services such as council tax and housing benefit.
Dundee Museum of Transport will also reopen on Monday, with a re-modelled café, board game area, and new toy-themed exhibition.
A spokesman for Dundee City Council said: “Dundee City Council and its partners are outlining the phased approach they will take to reopening some of the city’s public buildings and services as the latest lockdown restrictions are eased.
“The council is moving forward in line with the Scottish Government’s strategic framework, but timescales will also be dependent on preparation work to ready buildings for reopening, including reviews of risk assessments and the requirement for PPE.”
The spokesman said that the reopening process is expected to continue until late June 2021, in line with the release phases set out.
He said: “Following the reopening of schools full-time for all pupils from Monday April 19, more services are being reinstated, particularly those for elderly and vulnerable people.
“A partial reopening of day centres and respite centres has begun, with the Oakland Centre now open in a limited capacity. It is anticipated that the Mackinnon Centre will offer limited day services from the Oakland Centre in the near future.
“In addition, the Turriff Intermediate Care suite and can support emergency respite for people with dementia.”
It has also been announced that the Dundee Health and Social Care Partnership plans to begin opening day and respite services for adults out of the White top and day support services out of the Wellgate centre in May.
Individuals and their families will continue to receive updates on progress.
Shared community centres open will May 10.
All openings are subject to change, in line with national guidance, while services are likely to be restricted.
Confirmed opening dates and hours of operation will be announced as soon as possible.
Details will be published on the council’s website and social media channels, as well as those of partner agencies.
Striking a balance
The council spokesman said it is important to maintain public safety when services resume.
“After another significant period of lockdown, we appreciate that there is high demand for the reopening of council services and properties, as well as those operated by partners such as Leisure and Culture Dundee and the Dundee Health and Social Care Partnership.
“It is critical, however, that we strike the right balance between meeting that demand and ensuring that the complex reopening process is carried out safely and in line with the many challenges resulting from this unprecedented and unforeseen health crisis.
“Where possible, we’ll find new ways of doing things based on the learnings from the Covid-19 lockdown, which has seen widespread agile working and closer-than-ever collaboration with Leisure and Culture Dundee, the Dundee Health and Social Care Partnership, the third sector and communities themselves.”
Meantime the majority of council offices are not expected to open for some months, with staff affected still working from home well into the summer.
It is likely that return to offices will take place in a phased way, with blended models of working in place.
The spokesman said: “Updates will continue to be provided through the council’s website and social media channels.
“As with most organisations, the coronavirus pandemic has had – and continues to have – a significant impact on the finances of the council and its partners.”