Increased Covid cases highlight the need for social distancing wardens
7 August 2020
Cllr. Joanna Tuffy, Labour Councillor on South Dublin County Council has repeated her call for social distancing wardens to be employed by City and County Councils.
Cllr. Tuffy said:
Responding to the recent increase in cases in a number of counties Cllr. Tuffy said that there is a real danger that the message about the need to continue doing the basics of social distancing and hygiene may be being lost.
"Council social distancing wardens could help keep up awareness in the public realm of the need for social distancing. They could also liaise with local businesses and give support and advice in terms of ensuring social distancing by customers when visiting their premises. They could help advise local community and sports clubs how to manage events while ensuring social distancing and mitigation of any risks with holding events open to the public.
"There are models already there for Councils to employ social distancing wardens. Some councils have community wardens and all councils have park and school wardens. The role would be largely around promoting awareness of the need to maintain social distancing in public places, and when visiting shops and pubs and restaurants and community gatherings. As with school, park and community wardens the social distancing wardens would have the back-up of the Garda Siochana for any public order offences.
"School wardens that are currently out of work could be employed in this role during the summer months. Community Wardens could be given this added responsibility to ensure social distancing and in fact some councils have already taken that step.
“The presence of social wardens on streets in towns and city centres would help maintain awareness around the need to continue to maintain social distancing as part of the strategy to prevent new outbreaks of Covid-19.