‘People feel reassured by us’ - Covid marshals visiting businesses as cases rise in Great Yarmouth

Niamh Payne and Lauren Randall, covid marshalls in Great Yarmouth, with the leader of the borough co

Niamh Payne and Lauren Randall, covid marshalls in Great Yarmouth, with the leader of the borough council Carl Smith (middle). Picture: Daniel Hickey. - Credit: Archant

Covid marshals in Great Yarmouth have been reminding people of the rule of six - as rates of coronavirus rise in the town and people travel there during half-term.

Covid marshalls in Great Yarmouth have been visiting busiinesses and reminding people of the rules a

Covid marshalls in Great Yarmouth have been visiting busiinesses and reminding people of the rules around face masks and social gatherings. Picture: Daniel Hickey. - Credit: Archant

The most recent figures released by Public Health England show that, for the seven day period ending on Thurssday, October 21, the rate reached 114.8 cases per 100,000 people.

The rate is still significantly lower than the national average for the nation, which is 207.5 cases per 100,000 people.

Niamh Payne, 20, a voluntary covid marshal from Great Yarmouth, said: “I just want to spread the word around that it’s a serious virus, and it is life-changing for many.”

The marshals, a mix of volunteers and redeployed council staff, have been visiting businesses around the town and reminding people about the rules around face masks and social gatherings.

Ms Payne, who was made redundant by a hospitality company due to the pandemic, said: “A lot of people approach us. I definitely think people feel reassured that we’re around.


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“If anyone has a question, we’re happy to speak to them about it,” she added.

Lauren Randall, another marshal, said: “We’re a visible presence for people who want to talk about their concerns.”

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She said the marshalls have been giving “gentle reminders” to people.

Covid marshalls in Great Yarmouth have been visiting busiinesses and reminding people of the rules a

Covid marshalls in Great Yarmouth have been visiting busiinesses and reminding people of the rules around face masks and social gatherings. Picture: Daniel Hickey. - Credit: Archant

MORE: ‘It would be disastrous’ - Town’s renewed bid to avoid tier two at all costsCarl Smith, leader of the borough council, said: “It’s important at half-term to keep to the rule of six, especially with children off school and the chance of families mixing.

“We have had a spike but we’re trying to bring it down again. We’re still below the national average, but what we want to do is keep in tier one.”

There are currently 28 patients with coronavirus patients at the James Paget Hospital in Gorleston - an increase from September 26 when there was one patient.

At the height of the first wave, in mid-April, some 60 to 70 beds were occupied daily by patients with the virus.

A spokesperson for the hospital said: “We would urge everyone to follow the national guidance, particularly around social distancing and face coverings.”

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