Edinburgh parking attendants 'fearful for public safety' after nine positive Covid-19 cases

Parking attendants in Edinburgh have spoken of fears they might be unknowingly spreading Covid-19 around the Capital after an outbreak of cases at their base in the city.
Parking attendants in Edinburgh are worried about their health following a COVID-19 outbreak.Parking attendants in Edinburgh are worried about their health following a COVID-19 outbreak.
Parking attendants in Edinburgh are worried about their health following a COVID-19 outbreak.

As many as nine traffic wardens have been reportedly confirmed as having the virus following the first positive case on December 2, it is understood.

Since that initial first case, eight further parking attendants have tested positive over the last two weeks for the virus after going to work at the base in Lower Gilmore Place, with many more told to self-isolate.

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It is understood the base will be deep cleaned this afternoon following the increased numbers of cases.

There is no suggestion either contractor NSL or the council were not following Covid-19 guidelines or regulations and it is not possible to be certain where each attendant will have picked up the virus.

However, the news of the positive cases was said to have not been widely shared with the workforce with one saying they were concerned they have been unknowingly putting the public at risk.

The staff member, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said: “I am very concerned that we are putting ourselves and the public at risk. The appropriate action is not being taken and there appears to have been no action plan prepared for this situation.

“I do not feel safe going to my place of work and feel management are simply trying to keep this quiet as oppose to quickly dealing with the situation and keeping everyone safe.”

A spokesperson for NSL said this was the first incident affecting its parking attendants in Edinburgh since the beginning of the pandemic in March.

They said: “NSL is taking the current public health situation extremely seriously and we are working hard to protect our employees and deliver the essential services that we have been contracted to provide by to local authorities at this difficult time.

"NSL has been designated by local authority clients as providing essential services. This includes the operation of certain offices and the deployment of parking attendants around the city to ensure the free flow of essential goods, services, and people along key routes.

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“The safety of all our staff and the people they come into contact with continues to be of paramount importance across the business and this isolated incident is the first since measures were introduced at the beginning of March. To protect all staff and members of the public against further such incidents, the office in question is undergoing a deep clean today.

"NSL continues to follow all Government and public health guidance and is making all appropriate efforts to ensure the safety and well-being of our staff. The recommended social-distancing guidelines are being enforced in all areas. Clear advice has been provided to all members of staff regarding social distancing and the safety measures in place.”

A council spokesperson added: “The safety of the public and of contracted staff is of utmost importance and we will work with NSL to ensure their continued high standards of hygiene and safety.”

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