South Shields Pier to remain closed over social distancing concerns

South Shields Pier will remain closed for the foreseeable future over social distancing concerns.
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The gated section of South Pier looks set to remain closed to both anglers and walkers for weeks to come due to fears that people will not be able to keep to the Government’s distancing guidelines.

Port of Tyne, which manages the pier, said that due to the pier’s size and shape people would not able to keep two metres away from each other if it was to reopen.

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South Pier, South Shields, will remain closed over social distancing concerns.South Pier, South Shields, will remain closed over social distancing concerns.
South Pier, South Shields, will remain closed over social distancing concerns.
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However the section of the pier which connects to the Little Haven promenade does remain open to the public, as it has throughout lockdown.

It comes after members of the public had questioned why the pier had not been reopened when lockdown measures were eased to allow people to take unlimited exercise.

A Port of Tyne spokeswoman said: “Unfortunately, when we reviewed the North and South Piers with respect to coronavirus and the government requirement to maintain social distancing, it was found impossible to achieve a covid-secure, safe environment for members of the public.”This is mainly down to the size and shape of the public areas, where individuals are unable to keep two metres away from others.“We are obliged to ensure a safe environment for visitors, and this means we have to take all appropriate measures to minimise the risk of transmission of the virus.“We have reviewed this again recently in light of the changes in social distancing to include what has been termed ‘One Meter Plus’, which is effectively two metres where possible and, where this is not possible, the distance can be reduced to one metre with additional mitigations.

"Unfortunately, this does not change the level of risk and our ability to minimise this and therefore unfortunately we will have to keep the piers closed for the time being.“We will keep this under review and, as soon as it is safe to re-open the pier for public use, then we will do so.”

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