Three new COVID-19 Ambassadors are being introduced from today (Tuesday 24 November) to ensure Thanet’s businesses follow regulations.
They will support the council’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 considerable professional 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 subsequent 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 focus of the COVID-19 Ambassadors is education. They will not have any enforcement powers but will assist by sending referrals to the council’s Covid Enforcement Manager who in turn feeds intelligence into the joint working group of Kent Police, Trading Standards and Kent County Council.
These posts are being funded by the £92,000 received from the Government’s COVID-19 Emergency Funding for Local Government. COVID-19 Ambassadors are in addition to the Street Wardens who are out on our high streets every day managing pedestrian flow and queues, encouraging people to adhere to social distancing and reminding them of the need to wear face coverings in stores unless exempt.
For more information about the support available for businesses, go to the council’s business hub at thanet.gov.uk/business-advice or visit the Government’s website at gov.uk/coronavirus/business-support. The Kent & Medway support line (03333 602300) for coronavirus-related issues is also open five days a week from Monday to Friday, 8:30am – 5pm.