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Safety Marshals to help town centre visitors

New Coronavirus (Covid-19) measures, including Safety Marshals, will be introduced to our town centre from Saturday 31 October for four months.

We are working with our Business Improvement District, Experience Guildford on a range of new measures to increase safety for everybody in the only town centre in Surrey to be awarded a Purple Flag for the quality and safety of our night-time economy.

The Safety Marshals will provide a visible, reassuring presence for the public at peak times during the day and night, help to ensure that social distancing, face covering and hand-washing guidelines are followed and offer advice on staying safe.

Leader of the Council, Cllr Joss Bigmore says: "We are continuing to do all we can to allow everybody to enjoy our beautiful and historic town in safety, and our Safety Marshals will give extra help and guidance to all of our visitors. Being the only town in Surrey to hold the Purple Flag award for our safe and diverse nights out, we know how much people have enjoyed returning to our stunning historic town. Since our town centre reopened in June, we have been working with our partners Experience Guildford, Pub Watch and venues to make sure they are able to welcome visitors and follow all government guidelines. Supporting our residents and businesses is a key part of our work as a Council and it is wonderful that we are able to take further steps towards stopping the spread of the virus and allowing people to enjoy their time in Guildford.

"Most people are now used to the Coronavirus (Covid-19) guidelines, but we urge everybody to continue to be vigilant and remember that the experience is different. Please be patient and think of others when queuing, check with venues if you need to pre-book, and wear a face covering when required, including on public transport. Please also continue to use the NHS Covid-19 app."

Amanda Masters, Chief Executive of Experience Guildford says: "We are here to help visitors as much as possible, whilst at the same time supporting our wonderful local businesses and their staff. We recognise that for many people a return to the town centre has been a big step, and we hope that the introduction of Safety Marshals will give extra confidence to those who want to enjoy everything that we have to offer. With Christmas just two months away it is especially important that we continue to support our local businesses during one of the busiest times of the year. We hope that everybody will continue to be cautious, calm, and kind at all times of the day and night."

These measures are being introduced through the government's new COVID-19 Relative Needs Formula, a grant allocated to all local authorities across the UK to help with compliance and enforcement measures.

Guildford is the only town in Surrey and one of only 70 in the UK to have been awarded a Purple Flag, and we have held this for six years in a row as recognition for providing evenings and nights out that are safe, vibrant and varied. The Safety Marshals will work alongside the Guildford Street Angels, who care for and support vulnerable young people and adults in the town centre every Friday and Saturday night, and Experience Guildford's Town Rangers.

Published on Friday 23 October.