LIBRARIES across Hampshire will re-open to the public next week.

Civic chiefs have confirmed that libraries across the county, including those in Southampton, will re-open on July 6 with a number of safety measures in place.

Residents planning to attend one of the libraries run by Hampshire County Council will be asked to limit their visits to a maximum of 30 minutes and to keep browsing to an absolute minimum.

Meanwhile in Southampton, council-run libraries will provide a select and collect service and will initially be open for limited hours on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10am to 12.30pm and 2pm to 4.30pm.

The library in Lordshill will instead open on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.

City bosses said library browsing, public computers, printing facilities, public toilets and other supplementary services will be temporarily unavailable, but this will be kept under review.

All six city council run libraries will also be accepting returns via collection bins located outside.

But operating hours for this service will vary dependant on each library, the city council said.

No overdue fees will be charged until September 6, 2020.

Cllr Satvir Kaur, cabinet member for homes, communities and culture at Southampton City Council, said: “I’m thrilled we are looking at reopening our library service in a phased way, starting with select and collect. We are also working closely with our community led libraries on their recovery plans. We hope to slowly return our libraries into the community hubs they are known for, while keeping to public health guidance and prioritising the safety of our staff, volunteers and users.”

Other activities will continue to be run online.

Across the rest of Hampshire, customers will be asked to use self-service machines to borrow or return books where possible or download the Spydus Mobile app to check out books by mobile phone.

Late fees will remain frozen until the start of August while study places will be available from July 13 but will have to be pre-booked by calling 01962 454747.

Computers will be free of charge to use for all library card holders but will also have to be booked in advance by calling 01962 454747.

Online services will also continue.

Cllr Sean Woodward, executive member for recreation and heritage at the county council, said: “All libraries will be Covid-secure, with hand sanitiser available and distancing measures in place. We would ask people to use the self-service kiosks as far as possible and expect to wait sometimes, as there will be reduced capacity in the buildings due to social distancing.”