Guns have become a common sight on the streets of Middlesbrough...
...but they're the latest weapon in the fight against the Coronavirus pandemic.
As moves to ease the three-month lockdown gather pace, Middlesbrough Council has teamed up with partners to raise awareness of the continuing risk of catching and spreading the deadly disease.
Temperature Monitoring Stations are now available to the public at locations across the town including the Cleveland Centre, Hillstreet Shopping Centre and the Live Well Centre/Dundas Shopping Centre.
The stations will see staff from the Public Health and Public Protection Service, Street Wardens, and staff from Cleveland Fire Brigade and Middlesbrough Football Club offering members of the public contact-free temperature checks and health advice.
A raised temperature is one of the symptoms associated with Covid-19, it does not mean a person has the infection, but that they may have.
Anyone recording a high temperatures will be advised to arrange a test by either visiting the NHS website or by calling 119.
Testing facilities at the Middlehaven site are easy to access and home testing kits are also available for those people who do not have a vehicle.
If people record a normal temperature they are reminded of the symptoms of Covid-19 - a new or continuous cough, high temperature and/or loss of taste and smell.
Anyone who feels unwell with these symptoms should seek advice from the NHS 111 coronavirus service online or by calling 111.
As a reminder to help to reduce your risk of Covid-19 please make sure you:
- Avoid close contact with others
- Follow social distancing guidelines
- Wash hands regularly
The initiative supports the on-going efforts to prevent further spread of the Coronavirus which is particularly important in Middlesbrough as the town has a high number of Covid-19 cases.
Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston said: "After three months of lockdown, it's so important that we get the local economy going again.
"That brings with it particular risks for Middlesbrough which has been particularly vulnerable to this dreadful disease.
"That's why we're doing everything we can to help people stay safe and healthy while the town gets up and running again.
"Temperature guns can act as an indicator of possible infection and can help people keep themselves and others safe through testing, tracing and following the Government's advice on self-isolation."
"This is just one of a range of measures we're putting in place to minimise potential transmission of the disease.
"We're also doing all we can to help the town's economic recovery and the last thing we want is another wave of coronavirus which could see businesses and local services having to close again.
"Members of the public also have to play their part in staying alert as Covid-19 continues to present a risk to health and to our local economy.
"If we work together, we will come through this, and Middlesbrough will continue to fulfil its amazing potential."