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Friday, 05 March 2021
PEOPLE in Henley have been generally good at following the coronavirus guidelines.
That’s according to the two covid marshals who walk round the town once a week for up to an hour.
The pair were employed by South Oxfordshire District Council in November to patrol towns and ensure people are following the rules and businesses are trading safely.
They cannot enforce the rules, only encourage people to follow them..
Speaking after last week’s tour, marshal Tonya Fritz-Johnson said: “People comply with the rules in Henley and in Falaise Square people are wearing masks, which is good.
“Every place we visit could do with more reminders on what the rules are but on the whole Henley has been okay with compliance.
“I have to praise the Henley markets as they have town councillors out as marshals and they have been so practical.
“The council also produced stickers for businesses, reminding people to socially distance and that was very early on in the pandemic.”
The marshals encourage people to keep a distance of 2m, wear a mask, only leave their house for an essential journey or for exercise and only socialise with your household bubble. They also check to ensure non-essential businesses are closed and those which are allowed to remain open are trading safely.
Amy Anderson, the other marshal, said: “We are checking that smaller supermarkets and little newsagents are okay as they don’t have head offices to offer them advice on the rules. We work for the district council and we are here to help.”
The women said the most common rule breaks were people not wearing masks and leaving home for non-essential journeys.
Ms Fritz-Johnson said: “There’s the wearing of masks that people don’t see the necessity of, especially in shops — some people just don’t get it.
“Also people don’t seem to think about their journeys and whether they are essential. You’re allowed to get fresh air and to exercise but there’s a social aspect to it this time that I haven’t seen before.”
Ms Anderson said: “People are also going shopping as a family as it gets them out of the house but this isn’t allowed. We need to encourage just one family member to go shopping alone.”
The marshals invited people to seek advice when they are in the town. “We are approachable and we don’t bite,” said Ms Fritz-Johnson.
17 February 2021
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