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COVID-19 Secure Marshals will be patrolling the streets of East Northamptonshire - starting this weekend

Published Friday, 30 October 2020

A team of COVID-19 Secure Marshals will be keeping residents informed of the latest local and Government guidance and ensuring they stay safe and alert.

The marshals will support businesses and the public, increasing understanding of COVID-19 public health measures, such as social distancing, wearing face coverings in appropriate settings and hand washing - in a bid to increase public confidence in visiting high streets and using urban centres.

The role of COVID-19 marshals is not to enforce COVID-19 regulations, nor do they have any enforcement powers, this remains the remit of the police and designated local authority compliance and enforcement officers.

Instead the marshals, already deployed across all areas of the county apart from Daventry, will engage, explain and encourage best practice and national COVID-19 secure guidance. Employed and funded by Northamptonshire County Council (NCC), they will work alongside the local authorities.

They will be in operation where each district considers a priority and will walk around those areas patrolling any businesses/public areas they come across. Easily identifiable, in their blue hi viz ‘Covid Marshals’ jackets, branded with the NCC logo, they also have Covid marshal badges provided by NCC.

Kerry Purnell, Northamptonshire County Council’s Assistant Director of Corporate and Community Services said: “Their activity will support the work of our environmental health officers and increase public confidence in visiting high streets and using urban centres. The marshals will report back all of their findings to enable more targeted interventions for areas where issues were identified.

“We will be using our intelligence to focus on specific areas such as wards with high incidence of COVID-19 cases or shops/businesses/areas where we have received complaints.”

COVID-19 marshals’ remit is to:

  • work with local businesses on queue management in the public realm, for example, advising on one-way systems and social distancing in queues
  • facilitate to help prevent mixing between groups in night-time economy areas
  • encourage social distancing in busy night-life areas
  • remind members of the public to wear a face covering where required in relation to business premises
  • support councils’ compliance and enforcement function through visiting businesses to check compliance with COVID-19 secure measures through observation, escalating to local authority compliance and enforcement officers as appropriate

COVID-19 marshals will not:

  • enforce social distancing regulations
  • issue fixed penalty notices to those breaking COVID-19 regulations
  • engage physically with members of the public or attempt to restrain anybody
  • take decisions about allowing entry to a venue/ premises/ site

This media release has been issued on behalf of the Northamptonshire Local Resilience Forum.  Media enquiries should to be sent to nccg.urgentresponsecomms@nhs.net