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Havering’s libraries begin to reopen from tomorrow

PUBLISHED: 15:00 16 July 2020

Harold Hill library is set to reopen after months of being closed due to coronavirus. Picture: Havering Council

Harold Hill library is set to reopen after months of being closed due to coronavirus. Picture: Havering Council

Archant

Havering’s libraries will begin to re-open from tomorrow, July 17, as the borough’s coronavirus recovery plan continues.

Harold Hill, Upminster, Hornchurch, Rainham, Central Library will open tomorrow, with the other five libraries in the borough opening on Wednesday July 22.

Libraries will have revised opening hours as some staff will not be able to return to work due to health conditions or caring responsibilities.

Social distancing will be in place and library staff have been provided with PPE to ensure their safety.

Users will be asked for their contact details for NHS Test and Trace, and to follow the one-way systems in place, use hand sanitisers and wear face coverings.

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People may have to queue during busy times, particularly if people return books borrowed before lockdown at once, with those returned to be quarantined before going on shelves.

Late return fines remain suspended, alongside printing and photocopying services given that no cash will be taken at libraries.

No study spaces will be available until it is safe; there will also be reduced access to public computers with limited time and staff support.

Activities such as knit and natter and baby bounce will not take place until further notice, with no bookings to be taken for the meeting space.

Councillor Damian White, leader of Havering Council, said: “I know how important libraries are for our borough and I am proud that we can re-open a safe service in Covid-secure buildings as Havering’s recovery from this dreadful pandemic continues.

Although opening hours will be limited at first, we will open for longer when we can and this administration has invested to provide for a six-day a week library service right across the borough as soon as we can safely do so.”

Cllr Viddy Persaud, the cabinet member responsible for libraries, said: “It’s up to all of us to keep libraries Covid-secure by staying alert, following the guidance and above all being kind and considerate to each-other. If we all do our bit, the chances of spreading the virus are reduced and we can all be Havering Heroes.”


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