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Plans to extend Covid marshals scheme to help keep city safe

Published: Thursday, 11th March 2021

Plans to boost the number of Covid marshals patrolling Birmingham’s streets and parks to keep businesses and people safe as the city prepares to reopen have been revealed.

Proposals to recruit an additional 16 marshals – who would be deployed across the city centre, local neighbourhoods and parks – were outlined during the Licensing and Public Protection Committee meeting yesterday (10 March 2021).

The council’s Public Health team are funding this extension, which would see 12 marshals join the city’s current cohort (24) patrolling delegated areas five days a week, and four join the team (8) providing advice and guidance to visitors in Birmingham’s parks.

Covid marshals were first recruited to be the council’s ‘eyes and ears’ in December 2020, as part of a suite of measures to further improve compliance with Covid restrictions and guidance.

If approved, all new and existing marshals will be in post until 31 July 2021, to help advise and reassure businesses, residents, workers and visitors as restrictions are gradually eased over the next few months.

Cllr Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “Working with the communities of Birmingham to keep people safe has never been more important and our Covid Marshals have provided vital support to our efforts during this pandemic. They will now help provide advice and assurance as life begins to return to normal. 

“We all have a part to play in protecting our loved ones, neighbours and colleagues so in addition to this, we should all carry on with the basics of regular hand washing, wearing a face covering where required, keeping socially distant and getting tested when you have symptoms. If we all do these things, we will keep Birmingham as safe as possible.”

Covid marshals will encourage compliance with public health measures (e.g. social distancing, wearing a face mask, washing hands) and also to provide advice on Covid guidelines and regulations to businesses and the public.

However they do not have any enforcement powers, so are not responsible for issuing fines for breaches – this lies within police and enforcement officers’ remit.

This work bolsters our ongoing enforcement and information work across the city to support Covid-safety messaging, guidance and public compliance with Covid regulations.

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