Coronavirus marshals ordered to target weddings and pubs wearing body cameras to film distancing breaches

CORONAVIRUS marshals are to be sent out to monitor weddings and pubs wearing body cameras to capture beaches of government guidelines.

The marshals won't be responsible for enforcing rules, but will be told to notify police or council officers where they observe any breaches.

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The government has allocated £30million to councils to introduce the marshals, who they say should be paid and provided with PPE as well as radios, the Telegraph reports.

The recruits will be given lists of steps that should be being taken in businesses such as restaurants, pubs, takeaways, shops, and wedding venues as well as "close contact" services like hairdressers.

Businesses could face fines or even closure if they fail to respond to two warnings in a "yellow card" system.

Guidelines setting out what roles the marshals could play were issued by the Ministry of Housing, Communities, and Local Government, and suggest they would fall into two categories.

The first would be tasked with preventative work like cleaning surfaces, ushering people through one-way systems, and distributing face masks and sanitiser.

The second would be tasked with monitoring whether guidelines are being followed by businesses.

The marshals will also play a role in encouraging social distancing in crowded nightlife areas and as people leave bars after the 10pm curfew.

The guidance says the marshals should be trained to practise “de-escalation techniques” because of their role interacting with the public, but adds they would not be enforcing guidelines, handing out fines, or engaging physically with anyone.

Any such work would remain the responsibility of the police or local council personnel.


It comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson prepares to set out new coronavirus restrictions in a statement to the House of Commons on Monday.

Recent weeks have seen coronavirus cases in England steadily rise and lockdown measures imposed in numerous areas across the North.

Following a meeting with northern leaders on Friday, Sir Edward Lister, chief strategic advisor to the prime minister, wrote to MPs to say that the recent spikes meant that further restrictions in some areas were "very likely".

"We must seek to strike the right balance between driving down transmission, and safeguarding our economy and society from the worst impact," he said.

The Prime Minister is expected to unveil a three-tier system of lockdown measures in a bid to simplify the current patchwork of measures.

Areas with a low rate of infection will be placed in Tier One, where only national restrictions such as the Rule of Six and the 10pm curfew on hospitality venues will apply.

Regions in Tier Two will see a ban on home visits and indoor socialising with other households.

Tier Three will see the most serious measures, including a total closure of the hospitality sector and a ban on overnight stays outside the home.

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