January 19, 2021 1.16 pm This story is over 34 months old

Former pub manager becomes North Kesteven’s first COVID warden

They can’t fine people but can report issues

Two COVID wardens in North Kesteven will be the first in the district — and among the first in Lincolnshire — to be trained in protecting communities against coronavirus.

The wardens, referred to as COVID safety ambassadors by North Kesteven District Council, will explain, engage and encourage compliance for businesses and people in public places during the pandemic.

They will cover different times of day as part of their shift patterns, identifying businesses that are open and not following government guidelines.

These COVID wardens will never call to a residential property, they will instead be focusing solely on business premises and public spaces.

They do not have the power to issue fines to people or businesses, and are required to carry body cameras as a precaution.

Any matters that would require further action will be escalated to the local Environmental Health Team.

It’s hard to miss the wardens as they patrol, as they will have uniforms such as high visibility vests and jackets, and will carry council identification documents at all times.

A second warden will join the first one this week. | Photo: NKDC

The first ‘ambassador’ is now trained and in place, a former pub manager in Old Somerby who has been trained specifically for the role, and he will be joined by a second warden this week.

They will be in place until the end of March in North Kesteven, thanks to government funding specifically for this purpose.

While these two are the first in North Kesteven, they aren’t quite the first wardens in Lincolnshire, with ten being trained in West Lindsey back in November.

Richard Wright, leader of NKDC, said: “As coronavirus cases continue at this high level in our District, across the county and nationally, the assistance of COVID safety ambassadors in North Kesteven could save lives.

“We’re also acutely aware of the importance of supporting residents in using their local high streets and centres to access essential goods and how vital this is for our local businesses.

“In the main, the presence of these ambassadors in our retail and High Street areas will be a reassuring one, increasing people’s confidence while also working to reduce transmission of the virus.”