RECYCLING centres across Hampshire are set to re-open after they were shut to stop the spread of coronavirus.

County bosses have confirmed that they are working on plans to re-open rubbish tips, with a number of safety measures set to be in place.

It comes as on Tuesday night Robert Jenrick, secretary of state for housing, communities and local government, asked councils to “safely plan” the opening of recycling centres in line with social distancing guidelines.

The news follows calls for local authorities to re-open household waste recycling centres (HWRCs) in a bid to curb an increase in fly-tipping.

Now Hampshire County Council said it is working with its waste contractor on plans as to how and when recycling centres could re-open safely. A date is yet to be revealed. But councillor Rob Humby, executive member for economy, transport and environment at the county council, warned that a number of measures would be in place.

These will include limiting the number of people and vehicles on site at any one time and operating reduced opening hours to ensure sites can be “thoroughly cleaned each day”.

Measures for social distancing will be implemented and the council said it is also considering the potential traffic impacts which may result from restricted access to sites.

Cllr Humby added: “Where residents or members of their households have had Covid-19 symptoms in the last 14 days, they should not travel to, or enter, a HWRC. After this period, any Covid-19 contaminated waste should be double bagged and put aside for 72 hours before being brought to a site.”

He said the county council, Southampton and Portsmouth city councils are working in partnership with their contractor Veolia and any plans to re-open recycling centres “will be consistent within this partnership arrangement”. Cllr Jacqui Rayment, cabinet member for transport and place at Southampton City Council, had previously said that the re-opening of the recycling centre in Millbrook “is not a decision that sits with Southampton City Council”. Earlier this week, city councillor Steve Galton called on the authority to re-open the waste facility in Millbrook. Cllr Keith House, leader of the opposition at the county council, had also urged county bosses to re-open recycling centres to “help tackle the menace of bonfires and flytipping”.