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 on 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.
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.