‘Covid compliance officers’ are to hit East Devon high streets ensuring businesses stick to government rules when they reopen.
Two new district council roles have been created and filled by Andy Squires and Rachel Payne – who have already begun visiting traders in Exmouth.
The posts are being paid for from a £131,000 pot of European funding awarded to the authority.
Andy and Rachel will respond to enquiries and reports from businesses and members of the public concerned about Covid-safety compliance.
The duo will work alongside regulatory and enforcement professionals and other agencies and partners to ‘provide advice, education and assistance to business customers’.
They will help traders go through Covid risk assessments and advise on measures to protect staff and clients from the risks of infection.
The officers can also signpost struggling firms to sources of help available such as grant funding and advice.
East Devon District Council (EDDC) says the aim of the officers is to ‘help businesses reopen safely and follow Covid-19 guidelines’.
The authority added that the duo will be visiting businesses so they ‘understand and comply with legislation and guidance’.
Small- and medium-sized enterprises will be a particular focus, it said.
Councillor Marianne Rixson, EDDC portfolio holder for Covid issues, said: “We have recently appointed two compliance officers to help business owners understand the measures they will need to take to reopen their businesses safely to comply with government guidelines.
“Andy and Rachel will be a first point of contact for enquiries and have already started visiting businesses in the Exmouth area.
“We would urge business owners to get in touch if they are unsure whether their procedures are correct.”
Funding for the posts comes from the England European Regional Development Fund, which is part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014 – 2020.
EDDC’s Reopening High Street Safely project has received £130,992.
Anyone who would like help from a Covid compliance officer can contact EDDC’s environmental health team on 01395 517456 or email firstname.lastname@example.org