Drastic changes could be needed in public toilets as measures are considered to improve hygiene and social distancing in response to coronavirus.
As lockdown restrictions are eased, the British Toilet Association’s managing director Raymond Martin has been advising councils and companies on how to keep washrooms safe amid the pandemic.
In an interview with the Sunday Times, Mr Martin said potential solutions range from foot-operated flushes and self-closing seats to sensor-activated taps and soap dispensers.
However one of the most substantial proposed changes is the elimination of separate toilets for men and women.
Instead, one-way gender neutral facilities could see men and women queuing at one door and exiting on the other side with individual cubicles in between.
Mr Martin told the paper he is calling on the Government to invest in revolutionising the nation’s washrooms as a matter of “public health”.
“Toilets have a massive commercial effect on an area, which is why they are one of the first things you plan in any new shopping centre,” he said.
“It’s going to cost a lot of money, but if we want to get back outdoors, to socialise, to go to parks and beaches, then the Government has to step in.
“We want to bring back life to this country, and toilets are a vital part of that.”