CORONAVIRUS marshals have been introduced across the Winchester district to act as the eyes and ears of the council as lockdown restrictions remain in place, it has been announced.

Winchester City Council has launched a Covid-19 ambassador and marshal scheme to assist in promoting social distancing, providing information and support, and encouraging compliance with public health measures.

As well as helping to bring the district down into Tier 1, they will also tell the council of any issues that need to be resolved.

The city council has said that Covid ambassadors will be patrolling not just Winchester, but Bishop’s Waltham, Alresford and Wickham.

Councillor Paula Ferguson, cabinet member for local economy, said: “Supporting our community and the local economy has been a priority for the city council throughout the pandemic and with the introduction of new restrictions, we're putting in place some additional measures that will help to make the district’s high streets Covid-secure this Christmas and into the New Year.

“During the day, city council ambassadors will be out and about in Winchester, Bishop’s Waltham, New Alresford, and Wickham, offering advice to visitors and businesses and helping to ensure that everyone can ‘Visit Safe’.

“In the evenings from Thursday through to Sunday, covid marshals will be on hand to offer guidance to cafes, bars and restaurants, and members of the public, helping to promote compliance with the latest Covid-19 restrictions. They'll also make the Council aware of any issues that need to be resolved."

In September Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that £60 million will be made available across the police and local authorities for compliance and enforcement activities.

Of this £60 million, £30 million is being allocated to all district and unitary authorities including metropolitan borough and London borough councils in England to spend on Covid-19 related compliance and enforcement activities.