Europe

Covid marshals brandish yellow card at 'rule-breakers' during lockdown protest

Covid marshals have been filmed brandishing a yellow card as a first warning to people accused of flouting rules near a lockdown protest.

One of the two red-jacketed officers used the football system as they tried to disperse a group of people near the rally.

One of the group, targeted for what the marshals claimed was a breach of Covid-19 rules, responded by insisting they had the right to protest.

In the video, shared on social media on Saturday, the person being carded refuses to leave and protests: ‘Under what law am I not allowed to protest?’

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The yellow card system is designed to put rule-breakers on notice before the police are called, which can then result in a fine.

Marshals in Gloucestershire are using the method, and have identical uniforms and kit to those in the video, though it’s not known where the footage was shot.

In the clip, the officers, wearing masks and red security vests, are filmed speaking to the small group of people in a park at the weekend, when a number of anti-lockdown protests took place around the country.

One says: ‘Carry on walking, if you won’t leave I will give you a yellow card.’

The person filming on his phone says: ‘Yellow card? What is it?’

The marshal replies: ‘Do you want to leave the park sir.’

Responding when the man repeats his question, the other officer replies: ‘A yellow card is what we give you when you breach the regulations.

‘You have also been to a protest up the road.

‘You’ve been walking round the park where the protest’s been taking place and you’ve been stood there watching, therefore you’ve breached the Covid regulations because you’re not exercising, you’re in a gathering.

‘We issue a yellow card as a first warning and we issue the second yellow card as a final warning and that’s when police will come and enforce it.’

In the minute-long clip posted on Facebook by Ripped Gym, the man then repeatedly asks what law is preventing him from protesting.

Covid marshals do not have enforcement powers but can speak to people flouting rules and are also tasked with giving out advice and providing hand-sanitiser and face masks.

Under the current national restrictions social mixing outside of a household or support bubble is banned, as are protests of more than two people.

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