Coronavirus UK: Marshals will be armed with body cameras to catch rule breakers

A snooper army of Covid marshals armed with body cameras will film evidence of breaches of coronavirus restrictions at weddings, parties, pubs and restaurants under new Government guidelines published this week. 

Boris Johnson's derided marshals, dubbed 'Covid Wombles', will be expected to call police or council inspectors to enforce any breaches at premises they visit.

They will be given a checklist of coronavirus measures to ensure compliance in hospitality venues including pubs, bars, restaurants, takeaways and shops, as well as tourist attractions, 'close contact services' including hairdressers and nail bars, and ' receptions and celebrations'.

The guidance, published by Robert Jenrick's Department for Housing, Communities and Local Government, suggests the marshals should receive security training and could operate a yellow card system — where they issue two warnings before businesses face fines or closure.

In a move suggesting that there will be confrontations with unhappy members of the public, the guidance also suggests the marshals should be trained in 'deescalation techniques'.

A snooper army of Covid marshals armed with body cameras will film evidence of breaches of coronavirus restrictions at weddings, parties, pubs and restaurants under new Government guidelines published this week (pictured, a marshal in Cornwall)

A snooper army of Covid marshals armed with body cameras will film evidence of breaches of coronavirus restrictions at weddings, parties, pubs and restaurants under new Government guidelines published this week (pictured, a marshal in Cornwall)

Boris Johnson's derided marshals, dubbed 'Covid Wombles', will be expected to call police or council inspectors to enforce any breaches at premises they visit. They will be given a checklist of coronavirus measures to ensure compliance in hospitality venues including pubs, bars, restaurants, takeaways and shops, as well as tourist attractions, 'close contact services' including hairdressers and nail bars, and 'wedding receptions and celebrations'

Boris Johnson's derided marshals, dubbed 'Covid Wombles', will be expected to call police or council inspectors to enforce any breaches at premises they visit. They will be given a checklist of coronavirus measures to ensure compliance in hospitality venues including pubs, bars, restaurants, takeaways and shops, as well as tourist attractions, 'close contact services' including hairdressers and nail bars, and ' receptions and celebrations'

They will encourage social distancing and order members of the public to wear face masks. However, the guidance states their role is 'not to enforce Covid-19 regulations', but to 'engage, explain and encourage best practice and national Covid-19-secure guidance'.

The Covid marshals, who were called 'busybodies' by lockdown sceptics when the Government announced the new position, will be expected to prevent mingling between groups in pubs and clubs, and on the streets after the 10pm curfew.

The guidance also states there will be two grades of Covid marshals — Type 2 marshals, which will have a 'policing'-style role, and Type 1 marshals responsible for the more mundane tasks of directing pedestrians through one-way systems and handing out face coverings.

The Government has given councils £30million to recruit and train the Covid marshals, who should be issued with PPE, high-vis jackets and radio systems, the guidance adds.

Marshals are already a presence on Cornwall's streets, ensuring people are 'respecting social distancing.' They 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.

One marshal called Dan said he 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.

The guidance, published by Robert Jenrick's Department for Housing, Communities and Local Government, suggests the marshals should receive security training and could operate a yellow card system — where they issue two warnings before businesses face fines or closure. In a move suggesting that there will be confrontations with unhappy members of the public, the guidance also suggests the marshals should be trained in 'deescalation techniques'

The guidance, published by Robert Jenrick's Department for Housing, Communities and Local Government, suggests the marshals should receive security training and could operate a yellow card system — where they issue two warnings before businesses face fines or closure. In a move suggesting that there will be confrontations with unhappy members of the public, the guidance also suggests the marshals should be trained in 'deescalation techniques'

'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.'

Tim Dwelly, Cornwall Council's portfolio holder for the economy, said: '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.' 

It comes amid reports that Boris Johnson will make a Commons statement on Monday setting out new coronavirus outbreak restrictions as reports claim true figure of infections doubled in a week to 45,000 a day. 

The Prime Minister will use the occasion to outline a new 'tiered' approach to how local Covid situations will be treated.

His chief strategic adviser Sir Edward Lister has written to MPs following a meeting with northern leaders on Friday.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson (pictured) will make a Commons statement on Monday setting out new coronavirus outbreak restrictions, it has emerged

Prime Minister Boris Johnson (pictured) will make a Commons statement on Monday setting out new coronavirus outbreak restrictions, it has emerged

In a letter shared online, Sir Edward stated that 'rising incidence' of Covid in parts of the country mean it is 'very likely' that certain local areas will face 'further restrictions'.

CORONAVIRUS CASES DOUBLE IN A WEEK IN ENGLAND, ONS SHOWS 

The number of people catching coronavirus every day in England more than doubled in the last week of September to a staggering 17,400, according to the ONS.

Weekly data from the Office for National Statistics warns 224,400 people had the virus on October 1, up from 116,000 a week earlier.

It comes as MPs have warned the virus is 'out of control' now in the UK and the Government has not made any new announcements on what it is doing this week.

Today's report warns 'the number of infections has increased rapidly in recent weeks'.

There is a 'clear variation' across different regions of the country, the ONS said, with the highest rates of infection in the North West, North East and Yorkshire. More than one per cent of the population in those regions - one in every 100 people - were likely infected at the start of this month.

Teenagers and young adults, between the ages of 11 and 25, continue to drive up the disturbing rates of infection.

If the estimate is accurate it suggests the Department of Health's testing programme is now picking up most of the true number of cases, with it managing to diagnose 11,000 people on October 1.

And it follows a week of increasingly worrying data showing that hospital admissions are surging in the North, where they could surpass levels seen in April by the end of the month, and daily deaths are creeping back up again.

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The letter added that the Prime Minister believed local leaders should 'help shape the package of measures in the most concerning areas'.

The Government will discuss 'difficult choices' with local leaders, the letter stated.

Britain's daily coronavirus case count dropped today to 13,864 from more than 17,000 yesterday and official estimates of the R rate suggest the outbreak may be slowing in a ray of hope for the UK's second wave.

But a hat-trick of reports warn the country is still on a precipice with up to 45,000 people catching it every day and fears the outbreak is 'getting out of control'. 

It comes as new coronavirus restrictions are being introduced in Bangor following a sharp rise in cases, the Welsh Government has announced.  

The Prime Minister will spend the weekend finalising local measures to be announced on Monday that could see pubs and restaurants ordered to shut in large parts of the North of England.

The Government's Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) met on Thursday afternoon, when several members made the case for going further with strict national interventions, including a ban on household mixing.

They claimed the UK is in the same position as it was in early March – and a tougher lockdown is the only option.

But it is understood that Mr Johnson has ruled out bringing in any national changes on Monday, when he will unveil his new approach for dealing with Covid-19 flare-ups.

The Prime Minister is expected to introduce a three-tier system of lockdown measures in an attempt to make the existing patchwork of restrictions easier to understand.

Areas with relatively low infection levels will be placed in 'tier one', where only national restrictions such as the 'rule of six' and the 10pm curfew on pubs and restaurants will apply.

Tier two will also include bans on home visits and indoor socialising with other households. Options for tier three include total closure of the hospitality sector, a ban on overnight stays outside the home and the closure of venues such as cinemas.

Swathes of the North of England, including Manchester and Liverpool, could be placed immediately into the tier with the most severe restrictions, so pubs and restaurants would have to shut their doors. 

Nottingham has the highest rate in England, with 760.6 cases per 100,000 people - a huge jump from 158.3 per 100,000 in the seven days to September 29.

Knowsley has the second highest rate, which has leapt from 391.1 to 657.6 per 100,000, while Liverpool is in third place, where the rate has also increased sharply, from 419.0 to 599.9. 

Separate figures suggested coronavirus cases are doubling about twice as fast in the North West, Yorkshire and the West Midlands as for the whole of England.

But regional leaders have criticised the Government for failing to properly consult them on changes. Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham said he would 'use whatever means' to challenge any closures. 'The Government has lost the dressing room and they have to work very hard now to get it back,' he told the BBC's Question Time.

Downing Street insisted the Government had been 'working closely with local leaders and local authorities throughout the pandemic'. In a bid to soothe tensions, Sir Edward Lister, one of Mr Johnson's

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