Boris Johnson’s new army of Covid marshals are out in force today patrolling the streets and keeping anyone breaking the rules in check.
Covid marshals are being recruited by councils across the country to step up enforcement amid a surge on coronavirus cases.
Asked for further details on the introduction of marshals to help ensure social distancing in town and city centres, a spokesman from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said: ‘We are encouraging the introduction of Covid-secure marshals to help support our high streets and public spaces, making sure that people feel safe to enjoy them.
‘Some areas of the country have already introduced marshals to support the public in following the guidelines in a friendly way and we will be working with local authorities to see where else they are needed. We will be setting out further details in due course.’
The Government said where marshals have already been introduced, they have had responsibilities including ‘directing pedestrians, providing information, cleaning touchpoints, preventing mixing between groups and being a point of contact for information on government guidelines’.
Councillor Nesil Caliskan, chair of the Local Government Association’s (LGA’s) Safer and Stronger Communities Board, said: ‘We need to quickly see further detail on how the Government’s Covid-19-secure marshal scheme is intended to work, and any new responsibilities for councils in this area will have to be fully funded.’
Marshals are already a presence on Cornwall’s streets, ensuring people are ‘respecting social distancing.’
The new marshals work alongside Cornwall Council’s public protection officers who have been giving support and advice to businesses on reopening safely in towns and villages across Cornwall.
Tim Dwelly, Cornwall Council’s portfolio holder for the economy, said: ‘It’s good to see people out and about in our towns again.
‘Many of our high streets look very different because of the Covid-safe measures that have been put in place such as one-way signage on pavements and reminders to follow social distancing. This has been done so people can visit and work there with confidence.
‘The presence of these marshals and our public protection officers play a hugely valuable role in giving a bit of extra help where needed.
‘You can be assured that your safety is top-of-mind at all times, so do say a friendly ‘hi’ (dydh da) when you see them.
One marshal called Dan in particular has been enjoying providing reassurance to some of Camborne’s older residents and getting to know local businesses in the process.
‘So far, most visitors have been really co-operative and do their best to follow the guidelines and respect social distancing,’ he said.
‘I especially like helping reassure some of our older residents. I’ve got to know the local businesses and it’s great to know they’re all really keen to do what they can to make their customers and staff feel comfortable.’