COVID marshals will be present in Barrow to help support residents and businesses through the ongoing pandemic.

The marshals will be visible during peak hours to offer advice and ensure everyone understands the current rules and guidelines in place in a bid to drive infection rates further down.

They will also clean common touch points - such as benches or the buttons on traffic crossings - at regular intervals to reduce the ability of the virus to spread from person to person.

It is hoped their work will help to make sure people feel safe while offering support to shops, traders and businesses as they comply with social distancing and the legal requirements of Test and Trace.

Councillor Lee Roberts, deputy leader of Barrow Borough Council, said: “This is a very positive step forward as we edge towards the easing of lockdown on December 2.

“At the moment, people need to come into the town centres to access essential supplies and to work. “But we know that people will want to head back into towns to support local businesses once the lockdown ends, particularly in the run up to Christmas.

“Having Covid marshals in our town centres will help to support businesses and traders as they manage busy periods, while reassuring residents, shoppers and workers that Barrow is a safe place to be.

” Funding for Covid marshals was allocated to borough and district councils across the country by the government from a £30 million nationwide fund from the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government. Across the borough, marshals will be present in the town centres and high footfall areas at peak times during the day as well as during the evening.

They will wear high-vis jackets and will liaise where required with officers from Barrow Borough Council as well as with Cumbria police.

Areas in which the Covid marshals can help provide support include: helping businesses to manage queues, supporting social distancing in public areas, encouraging people to wear a face covering in indoor settings and cleaning touch points.

Councillor Roberts added: “People across our communities have worked together to stick to the rules of lockdown and our thanks go to them.

Their efforts continue to make a big difference to the rate of infection in our area as we move into Tier 2. “We know people will want to venture back into a safe environment once the lockdown is lifted so they can support our local shops and businesses.

“Covid marshals will help us all to regain the sense of normality we all want to see by helping to make sure everyone understands the latest rules when they are out and about as part of our drive to eliminate coronavirus from our borough.”