NO details have been given to Swindon Borough Council – or, it seems, other authorities – about how the much-publicised Covid marshals will operate or be paid for.

Prime minister Boris Johnson said when he announced new restrictions on gatherings last week that the ‘rule of six’ would be enforced by teams of Covid marshals.

But Swindon’s director of public health Steve Maddern told councillors on the borough's scrutiny committee that no further details had arrived from Whitehall.

He said: “Despite it being announced nationally, we have had no further guidance.

"It is my understanding the marshals will not have any enforcement powers and will just be able to reiterate advice and guidance.”

Although media reports have suggested marshals might be paid up to £30,000 a year, Mr Maddern suggested that would not be the case in Swindon if a team was ever set up.

He said: “I understand there will be no further funding for marshals.

"I’d expect local authorities to try and set up voluntary teams if they did have marshals – although we await further guidance and information.”

The council’s cabinet member for housing and public safety Cathy Martyn said: “Licensing officers, trading standards and environmental health officers have been offering Covid-19 safety guidance and advice since the start of the pandemic.”