Public toilets should be reopened as a matter of urgency to stop people defecating in beauty spots, it has been said.
Fife politicians have warned there was “already precious little” public conveniences prior to the pandemic, with the expectation falling on the retail, leisure and entertainment sectors to make their facilities available, most of which are now closed.
Fife Conservative councillors have asked the Scottish Government not to overlook the issue as the country progressively emerges from lockdown.
Councillor Mino Manekshaw, who represents West Fife, said: “In the post-coronavirus era, we find that not only are all the public conveniences closed but so too are the toilets in supermarkets and in the few available fast-food outlets.
“Clearly the science seems to have bypassed the fact that we remain humans and that our bodily functions continue.
“The things that we normally did before, like shopping, now take more than twice as long with a great deal of standing about.
“To compound matters, as we head towards the heat of mid-summer, we will all face a pressing need to keep hydrated outdoors and in the absence of any public access provision, needs must and there is already evidence that people, male and female, are relieving themselves in various locations – much to the disgust of local residents.
“While there may be a notion that nobody should venture out from home if there is a risk that they may need a toilet, that notion is clearly farcical even for the young and healthy.
“Then think of people with health issues or female issues, the elderly, the differently-abled, mothers with young babies or children?
“Are we now to permanently confine them at home because we cannot think of any way to safely bring public toilets back into use?”
Talks between local authorities and the public and private sector are ongoing at local levels across Scotland, but the Scottish Government’s position for phase one is unchanged.
“As we slowly and cautiously ease lockdown measures, we have been clear we simply don’t want, in this phase, to see large numbers of people at tourist hot spots or local beauty spots,” a spokesperson said.
“Crowds of people – even if they’re trying to socially distance – bring more risk than we judge is acceptable and safe at this point.
“Everyone should still be sticking to their local area – that’s within around five miles – for all their exercise and leisure activities.”