Coronavirus restrictions are due to end on June 21st. UK prime Minister Boris Johnson is on the record as saying that there will be no return to lockdowns thereafter. So why are local authority’s recruiting covid-19 marshals on contracts that run to 2023?
Data released today reveals that nearly 40 million UK residents live in covid free areas. 25 million Brits have had two doses of a vaccine and University College London is claiming that the country reached herd immunity against covid some weeks ago.
Yet according to The Mail Online, councils are set to employ “armies” of covid marshals to begin patrolling UK town centres and parks from July. According to The Mail:
Hertfordshire County Council is among those advertising for Covid marshals, with the local authority offering a contract worth an estimated £3 million to a provider that can supply 60 marshals from July 1 until January 31 next year.
In its description of the marshals’ duties, the contract notice reads: ‘Provide practical support to aid and encourage compliance, such as dedicated staff in public areas, business support, or support for individuals.’
It continues: ‘Introduce measures to aid public and business awareness and understanding of regulations and guidance.’
The Telegraph newspaper revealed today that councils in Darlington, Portsmouth, Cornwall and Carlisle have extended covid marshals contracts beyond July.
According to recruitment website North East Jobs, Covid Marshals will be used to advise the public on social distancing rules and other coronavirus measures in public areas.
They will also patrol the city, manage queues and one-way systems, to prevent mixing between groups in public spaces. The site states that a marshal employed by Sunderland City Council can earn £20,092 to £21,748.
Are plans already in place for lockdowns this coming Autumn and Winter? Will the threat of the Indian double-mutation variant be used to bring restrictions back in and force businesses to close again?
UK Chief Scientific Adviser Patrick Vallance has said several times that social distancing and mask wearing might become the norm during Wintertime, to deal with respiratory illnesses in general.