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Covid marshals patrol after dark for safety in Bishop's Stortford town centre

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East Herts Council is using European Union money to ramp up measures to keep Bishop's Stortford and Sawbridgeworth town centres safe this Christmas.

After daytime patrols were introduced, Covid marshals are now supporting pubs and restaurants in the evenings to ensure necessary safety measures are in place and to offer a reassuring presence.

The local authority has been given up to £132,170 by the England European Regional Development Fund and Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

East Herts Council's executive member for planning and growth Cllr Jan Goodeve. Pic: Vikki Lince
East Herts Council's executive member for planning and growth Cllr Jan Goodeve. Pic: Vikki Lince

Cllr Jan Goodeve, the council's executive member for planning and growth, said: "We're encouraging everyone to shop safe and support local businesses this Christmas. Buy online or via a click and collect service, order a takeaway, visit a shop or restaurant.

"Everyone who buys local will be supporting the local economy, but will also enjoy finding unusual gifts and receive excellent customer service. East Herts businesses are the heart of our communities, so let's get behind them this Christmas and shop local wherever we can.

"Our town centres have made a Herculean effort to ensure our high streets are as safe as possible. However, we all need to take note of the latest safety advice to ensure we have a happy and healthy Christmas."

East Herts Council has issued 10 'Shop Safe Shop Local' tips.

  1. Shop online at your local high street retailers or take advantage of click and collect services
  2. Abide by physical distancing signage – keep two metres apart
  3. New hand sanitisers have been added to town centres – use these to keep hands clean and to avoid passing on infection
  4. In store, wear a mask at all times and avoid busy aisles
  5. Handle as few things as possible, pick up only what you want to buy
  6. When you’re making a purchase use a card and your own bag
  7. Avoid crowds – if there's a queue, call back later
  8. If you need assistance, speak to a Covid marshal
  9. It’s Christmas! Remember the festive spirit and be respectful at all times
  10. If you have Covid-19 symptoms, you must self-isolate

For more details see www.eastherts.gov.uk/coronavirus.

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