A FORMER medical researcher claims more should be done to make sure event organisers in Swindon are doing all they can to protect people from Covid. 

As things slowly get back to normal after the removal of restrictions, indoor events, gigs and concerts have been returning to pubs and entertainment venues around the town. 

Jonathan Sheldrake, from Rodbourne, fears Swindon’s figures could rise as a result of events being run in small venues with poor ventilation.

“It is has been proven over and over again that coronavirus is transmitted more easily in enclosed environments,” he said. “Look at the high cases rates in schools at the moment which have similar issues. 

“Any event should have open windows, which is very difficult for some of the venues in the town. Inside areas should be as large and as well ventilated as possible. 

“If that’s not possible, look at other venues which are a larger and have more open space or are even outside.”

The 58-year-old also thinks that the council and public health authorities could be doing more to ensure events do all they can to mitigate the risk of Covid outbreaks.

Mr Sheldrake said: “There is a real need for the council health team not just to adhere to guidelines but be proactive.”

“Each event should have an officer that advises the organisers on the best way of dealing with coronavirus risks.”

Swindon Borough Council’s director of public health Steve Maddern said: “With the removal of legal restrictions we are limited in what we can enforce businesses to do. 

“However, businesses have a health and safety responsibility and should continue to follow Covid secure guidelines.

“Customers also have a personal responsibility to decide if they wish to visit businesses if they believe they are less Covid-secure and we would advise them to continue to continue to apply the hand, face, space, ventilate guidance. 

“We have done a tremendous amount of work with businesses across the pandemic and continue to do so, including our work with the Health and Safety Executive to assess the Covid-secure measures businesses have in place and give advice accordingly. 

“Any concerns about specific businesses that we are made aware of is investigated by our public health and environmental health teams and we take appropriate action. 

“We also monitor any settings that are linked to cases, clusters and outbreaks and engage and take action where appropriate.” 

People can report concerns at www.swindon.gov.uk/info/20080/report_a_problem