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‘Covid marshals’ on hand to offer to support in Allerdale town centres

Jonathan Irving

Jonathan Irving

Posted on 01 December 2020

Marshals will soon be on hand in town centres across Allerdale to offer extra support and help keep residents, visitors and businesses safe during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

The marshals, referred to as ‘Covid marshals’ by some, will be present in all of the seven towns across the borough from tomorrow (December 2) to encourage social distancing, assist with queues in public areas, provide advice on relevant Covid-19 guidance and more. 

The role of the marshals will be accompanied by signage in the town centres to further remind people about the importance of social distancing in keeping each other safe. The marshals will also continue their successful support the operation of a one-way system in Keswick on market days. 

The marshals will be in operation thanks to Government funding provided to Allerdale Borough Council, and other borough/district councils, to support compliance and enforcement of Covid-19 regulations.  

Following a tender process, a local company will be providing the marshals who will also liaise with officers from the council and Cumbria Police where necessary. 

Cllr Mike Johnson, the council’s deputy leader, said: “Ensuring our town centres are safe is hugely important not just from a public health point of view but also in giving residents and visitors confidence to visit our high streets and shop local this Christmas. 

“The introduction of marshals is just one of the many ways we’re supporting our communities and businesses throughout these challenging times and I’d urge everyone to continue to play their part in keeping our area safe.” 

From 12.01am on Wednesday Allerdale and the rest of Cumbria will be placed into Tier 2 (High Alert) of the local coronavirus restrictions. To find out more about the restrictions go to https://www.gov.uk/guidance/local-restriction-tiers-what-you-need-to-know or for local information go to https://www.allerdale.gov.uk/en/coronavirus/

 

FAQs:

What are the marshals actually doing? 

The deployment of marshals is designed to help with compliance of the Covid-19 guidelines and legislation brought in to control the spread of the virus. In Allerdale, some of the activities the marshals will be doing are: 

  • Patrolling in nominated town shopping areas. 

  • Encourage social distancing where apparent non-family groups/bubbles are congregating with friendly advice not to congregate. 

  • Encouraging 2m social distancing where queues have formed 

  • Giving out friendly advice at all times. If a member of the public wants detailed advice refer them to the Government website or our own website. 

  • If concerning behaviour is observed and is outside the scope of their duties, refer it to the relevant authority e.g. environmental health or police. 

  • Additionally, in Keswick and Workington, marshals will be putting up and taking down the markets’ Covid signage and sanitiser units. 

 

How many of them will there be? 

In Keswick and Cockermouth there will be two marshals for each town, in Wigton and Aspatria there will be two combined, there will be four in Workington and a further two in Maryport and Silloth combined. 

 

When and where will they be working? 

The marshals will start their work on Thursday, December 3 until Thursday, December 24 inclusive. 

They will be present in the following locations: 

  • Aspatria: King Street  

  • Cockemouth: Main Street, Station Street and Market Place  

  • Keswick: Market Place operating the one - way system on market days, all other days Market Place, St John’s Street, Lake Road, Main Street and Bank Street  

  • Maryport: Senhouse Street and Curzon Street 

  • Silloth: Criffel Street and Eden Street 

  • Wigton: King Street and High Street 

  • Workington: Washington Square, Murray Road, Pow Street and Oxford Road 

The marshals will work between 11am and 2pm Monday to Thursday, between 10am and 5pm on Fridays and Saturdays, and between 11am and 4pm on Sundays. 

 

Can marshals issue fines? 

No. Marshals are designed to be ambassadors of the Covid-19 legislation and support compliance but do not have enforcement powers. These will remain the remit of the police and local authorities. Marshals or equivalents should engage, explain and encourage best practice. 

Marshals should also not engage physically with members of the public or attempt to restrain anybody and should not take decisions about allowing entry to a premises.