A funding pot of £60m is to be made available for police and local authorities in England to assist them in enforcing COVID-19 social distancing rules.
The introduction of COVID marshals to help people follow rules designed to help halt the spread of the virus was announced in mid September, but no additional funding was mentioned at the time.
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) declined to outline the powers marshals might have, or whether they could take contact details, or issue spot fines. But did say that some areas of the country have already introduced marshals to support the public in a “friendly way” to follow the guidelines.
A government spokesperson said: “We are providing £60m for the police and local authorities as they continue to support communities to follow the guidelines.
“We will continue to work closely with councils on the delivery of this and will set out further details on how the funding will be allocated in due course.”
The ministry also said it wanted marshals to help free up police and other enforcement officers to focus on the most serious breaches, although also added LAs would determine how best to use them within their local area and what responsibilities they should hold.
From Monday (28 September) it will be mandatory for people across England to self-isolate if they test positive or are contacted by NHS Test and Trace.