COVID marshals are here to 'help and advise'

Covid marshals will be in Hertsmere to help out

Covid marshals will be reminding people about social distancing, face-coverings and hand washing. - Credit: GettyImages / iStockPhoto / Rich

Hertsmere COVID-19 marshals have started work across the borough, offering support to help keep residents, visitors and businesses safe.

The marshals’ role is to remind people of the importance of social distancing, wearing face-coverings and regularly washing their hands, among a range of duties aimed at helping people feel as confident and comfortable as they can in public areas.

They will also advise local businesses on queue management and on one-way systems.

The marshals, who will be easily recognisable because of their high-viz jackets, will act as the council's 'frontline'.

While they do not have powers of enforcement, they will be able to report issues to the environmental health team, or the police when needed, to investigate further.

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Leader of the council, Cllr Morris Bright MBE, said: "The marshals are here to help and advise our local communities of the latest coronavirus guidance and rules.

"This lockdown the marshals will initially focus on supermarket safety, which has been identified as a key area of concern. Please speak to them if you are unclear of the latest regulations or have any questions about how to keep yourself and your family safe and within the rules.

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"If you are approached by a COVID-19 marshal, please cooperate with their request and be respectful, they are doing their best in difficult circumstances."

As well as concentrating on supermarket safety, the COVID marshals work in partnership with the police whose ‘Operation Sunrise’ initiative includes a high-visibility presence in busy town centre hotspots as well as proactive patrols and reactive response where required.

Chief Inspector Mark Bilsdon, Herts police, said: “Under Operation Sunrise, we have lined up extra resources for dedicated patrols to be out and about, encouraging compliance with the coronavirus regulations in our communities.

“I thank the majority of people for doing the right thing and using face-coverings, maintaining social-distancing, following the latest rules and self-isolating where necessary.”

The COVID-19 marshals, who are funded by central government, will be on duty across the whole of Hertsmere.