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Towns get ‘coronavirus wardens’ to keep shoppers safe

PUBLISHED: 14:40 13 July 2020 | UPDATED: 10:23 14 July 2020

Environmental Protection Manager, Emily Capps, is overseeing the social distancing implementation. Picture: North Norfolk District Council/Casey Cooper-Fiske

Environmental Protection Manager, Emily Capps, is overseeing the social distancing implementation. Picture: North Norfolk District Council/Casey Cooper-Fiske

Picture: Megan Wilman

‘Coronavirus wardens’ have been introduced in nine towns in order to ensure people are shopping comfortably and safely.

The team of nine social distancing coordinators - thought to be the first of their kind in the country - have been introduced across north Norfolk.

They will be making sure that social distancing measures are observed, and helping the public shop safely.

North Norfolk District Council environmental protection manager Emily Capps said they have been welcomed by the public.

The coordinators will operate in Cromer, Fakenham, Holt, Hoveton, Mundesley, North Walsham, Stalham, Wells and Sheringham.

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Ms Capps said: “In market towns and busier seaside resorts we have nine social distancing coordinators and I am managing that group, so far we’ve received some good feedback, although traders have voiced some concerns over decisions which we have listened to, but actually most people think we’re doing a good thing and saying they feel more confident to shop and also much safer.”

Introduced as part of the You Are Welcome campaign, coordinators will answer visitors’ questions about social distancing, ensure businesses are “Covid secure” and make sure shoppers are following the rules, these wardens will also undertake a weekly review of the measures implemented in towns alongside Ms Capps.

Ms Capps describes the coordinators as the council’s “eyes and ears on the ground” to see which measures are working and when they can be eased.

In North Walsham, road closures overseen by Ms Capps and her team have prompted protests and petitions from shoppers and traders when they were introduced on July 4.

She said the closure was the only way to ensure social distancing, after her and the town’s coordinator noticed that some of North Walsham’s pavements are very narrow and its shops are small.

She added: “In some places it hasn’t been necessary to close the road, there’s a variety of different traffic orders in place across the district tailored to each location and North Walsham is just one of that larger scheme really, on the whole we’ve received good feedback,

“When I’ve been stood in North Walsham Market Place, several shopkeepers came out and spoke to me and said shoppers say they feel more confident to shop there and just feel safer in general.”


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