No Covid marshals will be seen patrolling the streets of Wiltshire anytime soon, as Wiltshire Council has confirmed it is not looking to deploy any.

During last week’s announcement, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Covid-secure marshals, in the form of volunteers or existing council staff, would be introduced in towns and city centres to encourage the public to comply with coronavirus restrictions.

However, according to the leader of Wiltshire Council, local authorities have the final say on whether to go ahead with the plan.

Asked whether Salisbury, or Wiltshire as a whole, could see Covid marshals on their streets, Cllr Philip Whitehead said: “We don’t see any evidence to suggest that we need them. All the people in Wiltshire have been very good at social distancing, shops and businesses have been excellent so we can’t see the need for Covid marshals. 

“However, I do understand that in Birmingham or Leeds they might well want Covid marshals given the amount of people they have.”

In the case marshals became necessary in the future, Cllr Whitehead said “I would want to know who’s paying for it, it’s clear at the moment that the government are not saying they are”. 

As it stands, marshals have no powers to enforce Covid-19 regulations or issue fines to those breaking the rules.

Cllr Nesil Caliskan, Chair of the Local Government Association’s Safer and Stronger Communities Board backed calls for the government to fund the scheme, for councils who choose to implement it.

He said: “We need to quickly see further detail on how the Government’s Covid-19 Secure Marshal scheme is intended to work, and any new responsibilities for councils in this area will have to be fully funded.”