Three new COVID-19 ‘ambassadors’ are now ‘on patrol’ to ensure Thanet’s businesses follow regulations.
Thanet council says the trio will support the authority’s Environmental Health team and visit the 1,400 food and licensed premises in the district to provide advice and guidance on how to comply with the current COVID-19 legislation.
Ambassadors, who have experience from uniformed services, have been given a full training programme and will be:
- Educating and explaining COVID-19 Secure guidelines for business premises
- Identifying and supporting businesses and premises not following guidelines, escalating as appropriate
- Leaving a help-sheet, signposting businesses to government guidance as well as the council’s business advice, environmental health and licensing webpages
- Checking and promoting the visibility of COVID-19 Secure messaging.
Reports of breaches will be passed to the council’s Environmental Health Officers who will then carry out any enforcement action.
Cllr Steve Albon, Cabinet Member for Operational Services at Thanet District Council said: “In June of this year, when restrictions eased following the first national lockdown, the vast majority of the district’s venues scrupulously complied with the regulations designed to ensure the safety of customers and stop the further spread of COVID-19. There were, however, a handful of venues who did not follow proper procedures and potentially put lives at risk.
“Our COVID-19 Ambassador team will help support our businesses when they can start trading again. They will work with licensees and owners to remind them of their responsibilities and the tough action that will be taken against anyone found to be breaking the rules. Paramount in our minds is people’s safety and it is only by everyone playing their part and following the regulations that we will suppress this virus.”
The ambassadors do not have any enforcement powers but will assist by sending referrals to the council’s Covid Enforcement Manager who passes it to the joint working group of Kent Police, Trading Standards and Kent County Council.
The roles are being funded by £92,000 received from the Government’s COVID-19 Emergency Funding for Local Government. They are in addition to the street wardens who are in the high streets.