COVID-19 marshals on patrol in Richmond

Release Date: 02 November 2020

Richmond Council has received £75k from the Government to recruit marshals, aimed at helping support people in local town centres to continue to adhere to the COVID-19 rules.

The aim of the marshals is to boost the local enforcement capacity and help slow the spread of coronavirus. Whilst they do not have enforcement powers, they will be helping to remind people to follow the rules - for example, wear face coverings and social distancing.

The COVID marshals will:

  • Undertake walks within areas of high footfall, including transport hubs - for example, outside rail and bus stations - in order to help reinforce the importance of adhering to COVID-19 regulations and provide information, guidance and reassurance
  • Visit premises and delivering COVID compliance advice positively, documenting any findings and highlighting any concerns to the Regulatory Services Teams Environmental Protection Team
  • Answering queries from residents and businesses regarding COVID-19 regulations and giving advice

Cllr Gareth Roberts, Leader of Richmond Council, said:

'Whilst this funding is welcomed from the Government, it isn’t enough to make sure that all our high streets have a marshal at all times. So, we will be prioritising where they visit, looking at footfall and pinch points.

'Our wider environmental health and licensing teams are in the front line of tackling coronavirus, carrying out inspections, explaining the rules and encouraging businesses and individuals to follow the guidelines.

'However, over the next few weeks, we know that it will be particularly important to further support people who will want to visit shops and businesses providing essential goods and services, in a COVID Secure way. The marshals will enable us to help people to feel safe doing so.

'I appeal to all of our residents, visitors, workers and students to continue following the rules to help reduce the spread of the virus.

'As we have seen, the number of infections has risen in our borough. Therefore, we do need to redouble our efforts to follow the hands-face-space rules.'

Across London the Police have increased their patrols to ensure people are complying, especially in high risk areas.

The Council can use enforcement officers, such as environmental health and licensing officers, to explain and encourage businesses and communities to follow guidelines. These officers also carry out inspections and can take enforcement action for non-compliance.

Notes for editors

If you are a journalist and would like further information about this press release, contact  Elinor Firth on 020 8487 5159.

Reference: P432/20

Updated: 30 November 2020