Important requirement in respect of the use of gates to the CEPC’s gardens.

If you are a corporation or rent out your property, please pass this important message on to any occupiers of your property with the use of the CEPC’s gardens.

Further to recent communications from the CEPC, we have recently completed a risk assessment and introduced relevant mitigation measures to reduce the risk of coronavirus COVID19 spread on the CEPC’s estate.

The implementation of several measures has allowed a number of further colleagues to return to site work in a phased way. It also highlighted some risks which affect garden users. There is one in particular to which we wish to draw your attention and to which we ask you give appropriate thought and action.

The latest guidance is that regular touch points, such as gates, should be avoided if possible and consideration given to increased cleaning. The CEPC’s private gardens are all in the open air. Several are gated. We do not consider it appropriate to leave open gates, nor are we able to reasonably fund staff on the gates at relevant times nor a service where users phone for access/egress. We have decided to clean daily the most used gate locks and part of the gates used for opening/closing at the Park Square and Park Crescent gardens. The relevant parts of gates in the CEPC’s other gardens may be cleaned as and when we have the ability, but please note that ability is limited and irregular. We have considered closing the gardens, but feel, on balance, that keeping them open is a significant physical and mental health benefit to those with access if appropriate mitigation measures are followed.

We take this opportunity to point out measures that users (and staff who will also be briefed) must take to minimise the risk of infection/transmission. Please avoid touching any part of the gates. We suggest this be done by wearing disposable gloves and/or using a piece of clothing between your hand(s) and the part of the gate used. Any items used to touch the gate should then be bagged and disposed/cleaned according to the latest guidance, after which hands should be cleaned with sanitiser. Users of the gardens will need to provide these items themselves. If you do touch any part of the gate by accident or by choice, the most effective way to reduce the risk of catching and/or spreading the virus is to wash hands immediately afterwards and not to touch your face. Users of the gardens who do touch the gates will need to follow this procedure and to provide their own hand sanitiser to clean themselves. Users of gated gardens will therefore need to bring hand sanitiser if contemplating using the CEPC’s gated gardens. We do not think it practical to supply and monitor items such as hand sanitiser and gloves at relevant entrances. We can not guarantee the quality or supply of such items, nor the availability of staff to monitor and replenish them in the present circumstances. Hence the requirement that users will need to bring such items themselves if they wish to use the gated gardens.

We feel that these measures and required behaviours will minimise the risk. However, it is important to understand that there will still be a risk of infection and/or transmission of coronavirus COVID19 from using the CEPC’s gates (and indeed the gardens) which can not be eliminated. All users should consider whether they wish to take that risk when deciding to use the CEPC’s gardens. Anyone who does choose to use the gardens, does so at their own risk to the fullest extent possible in law.

A further issue which has been highlighted to the CEPC in recent weeks is the current closure of the toilets in Park Square and Park Crescent. We apologise for the inconvenience of this measure. We are giving ongoing consideration to re-opening the toilets and will make an announcement on this as soon as we can. In the meantime we request that you go home to use the toilet.

Thank you for your attention.