Covid regulations: Council patrols to tour East End with advice in areas with high numbers of cases
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Council officials are ready to tour the East End for the next seven days in locations identified where cases of Covid-19 are the highest.
Two teams organised by Tower Hamlets Council are being located in high risk areas to help the public cope with the emergency and answer questions.
The move follows joint patrols with police earlier this month when dozens of businesses were found to be breaching regulations with fines being issued and even some premises being ordered to shut.
But the more softly-softly approach to the public means town hall officers will be out and about initially in areas towards the City such as Whitechapel and Spitalfields handing out leaflets in different languages to reach those unable to use the internet, or the elderly or those who don’t speak English who may not be aware of the latest UK regulations.
“Many people need help to understand advice with national guidance on Covid-19 changing quickly,” mayor John Biggs said. “This is especially with vulnerable residents, including the elderly and those whose first language isn’t English.”
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Areas are being chosen where the teams can meet vulnerable people and those known to need additional support, making sure that as many people as possible have latest Covid-19 information. Other measures include advertising vans being placed in areas where Covid-19 cases were highest.
Teams from environmental health department have also been making sure businesses follow regulations and backing police with enforcement where needed.
Patrols made 4,500 checks earlier this month when 60 businesses were found to be “non-compliant”.
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They also found organised gatherings and parties including unlicensed music events. Police broke up one illegal gathering when hundreds of people were discovered at premises near the Blackwall Tunnel when six arrests were made for breaching Covid-19 regulations and drug offences.
“Enforcement is a last resort,” Chief Insp Pete Shaw warned at the time. “We don’t want efforts to be in vain through irresponsible or illegal actions of some people.”
So the council is taking a softer approach giving out advice on how to comply with emergency regulations. The teams are getting ready to answer questions and also give reminders about wearing face masks and keeping social distances.