New restaurants, offices and shopping centres in England will be required to provide single-sex toilets.

Ministers say the changes will “alleviate safety, privacy and dignity concerns”.

Women and equalities minister Kemi Badenoch said the move would end “the rise of so-called ‘gender-neutral’ mixed sex toilet spaces, which deny privacy and dignity to both men and women”.

According to PA, the legislation will mean that new non-domestic buildings must install separate toilet facilities for men and women, or, if there is not enough space, self-contained universal toilets, a fully-enclosed toilet room containing a sink and hand dryer.

Ministers said a consultation on the proposals showed 81% agreed with the intention for separate single-sex lavatories, while 82% agreed to provide additional universal toilets where space allows.

The regulations will also apply to businesses and hospitality venues undertaking “major refurbishment”.

There will be exemptions for schools, residential homes and premises used mainly for early years provision.

In schools, separate toilets for boys and girls aged eight years and over must already be provided.

Last week, Ms Badenoch appeared to suggest gender-neutral toilets at a school could see young girls avoiding using those shared facilities and ending up with urinary tract infections.

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It came after Health Secretary Victoria Atkins announced plans to overhaul the NHS Constitution, ensuring hospital patients in England have the right to request to be treated on single-sex wards, with transgender people placed in rooms on their own.

In a statement about the new legislation, Ms Badenoch said: “These regulations will guide organisations to design unisex and single-sex toilets, ending the rise of so-called ‘gender-neutral’ mixed sex toilet spaces, which deny privacy and dignity to both men and women.

“Today’s announcement will also create better provision for women so that our particular biological, health and sanitary needs are met.

“This is following our work last week limiting the use of mixed-sex wards in the NHS and demonstrates how this Government is committed to ensuring single-sex spaces are protected for all.”

“Today’s announcement will also create better provision for women"

Housing minister Lee Rowley said:  "We know all members of society value safety, privacy and dignity, and this new legislation will help ensure the right facilities are in place for everyone.

“It is vital that new buildings, particularly in public spaces, are serving the community with right toilet provision.”

Mermaids, a transgender youth support charity, said in response to Government proposals: “In order to ensure ‘everyone is served fairly’, and that everyone can feel comfortable using public toilet facilities, not only are gender-specific facilities in which trans people can feel safe in using vital, but gender-neutral facilities are also greatly necessary to ensure non-binary people’s experiences with toilet facilities are one of comfort.”