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Covid in Bristol: Marshals to patrol city's streets

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image copyrightBristol City Council
image captionMr Rees said Covid marshals will patrol the city's streets

Covid marshals are to patrol Bristol's streets, under new measures announced to tackle the spread of coronavirus.

Elected mayor Marvin Rees said the city will also take on some local responsibility for test and trace.

He said if the "targeted interventions" do not work it was "inevitable" the city would move into tier two or three.

The council has called the moves a "tier one plus" alert level. The government said it was not considering the introduction of a "plus" system.

Bristol is currently in the tier one category, which has the lightest restrictions, but has a rate of 340.7 new cases per 100,000, which is above the average for England.

Mr Rees said the "tier one plus approach" was to "remain in tier one, but taking some targeted interventions, actions to influence people's behaviour and stem the spread of the virus".

He said the duties of the eight marshals would include cleaning touch points, directing pedestrians, helping businesses manage queues, and offering guidance to the night-time economy.

image captionDirector of public health Christina Gray said household mixing had led to an increase in cases

He said a local test-and-trace system was needed because "we've been reliant on the national system that has not worked as well as we would like".

He added that if the new approach did not have an impact then the "inevitable alternative" was "the prospects of tiers two and three."

Bristol's director of public health, Christina Gray, said "household mixing" had led to an increase in cases.

"We're all tired, we want to see our families and grandparents. The rule of six has kind of confused everybody a little bit."

Mr Rees said Bristol had seen a total of 5,339 Covid cases, with 1,579 positive cases in the past seven days.

A city council spokesperson said "tier one plus" was "a local term" and "not something from government".

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: "There are three local Covid alert levels which are enshrined in law and we are not considering the introduction of a 'plus' system.

"Bristol is currently at medium and local leaders have the authority to bring in some additional measures for their area and we welcome local efforts to break chains of transmission."

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