As the number of COVID-19 cases begins to decline there are two issues on everyone’s mind. The first is the return to a new kind of normality, something close to if not the same as the way things were before the virus. The second is the possibility of a new viral wave, a new spike in cases that will force everyone back into lockdown.
As businesses reopen, they are looking for ways to establish a new kind of normal. Shops, salons and other premises need customers but they also need to keep them and their staff safe. Most are adopting rules that allow them to operate pretty much as before but with a few key limitations and restrictions in place.
Employees and customers are required and encouraged respectively to wear face masks. Hand sanitiser is made available to customers as they enter premises and employees are often given disposable gloves to wear throughout the day. Social distancing stickers are placed on the floor at appropriate intervals to provide guidelines on where customers should stand to avoid catching or spreading the virus.
These social distancing stickers are a key part of the plan to keep everyone safe. If people can keep a distance of 2m away from each other, the odds of the virus being passed from person to person fall dramatically. The issue with maintaining this rule is that people are bad at judging distance without some sort of guideline. They also need a reminder or it is too easy to fall back on old habits and stand close to each other in an orderly queue when waiting to pay without ever really thinking about it.
Stickers solve all of these problems. They provide an easy and distinct visual reminder, are an easy way to convey the required information and they are also cheap to produce and easy to install. Stickers allow businesses to become ready for the new post-virus world quickly and easily.
In some cities in the UK, there have been other inventive uses for stickers. In Belfast, businesses are trying to inspire confidence in their returning customers by using stickers to declare themselves ready. The Belfast City Council has been distributing these stickers to any business that has undertaken adequate safety measures as they begin to emerge while the lockdown restrictions are eased away.
In a statement, Frank McCoubrey the Lord Mayor of Belfast said that the council had worked hard with its partners in the city to ensure the safety of both employees and customers. He said that it was important that everyone involved is confident that all of the appropriate measures have been taken to ensure that public health is made a priority and that all proper safety measures such as social distancing are adhered to.
These are unprecedented times and there is going to be some degree of experimentation and adaptation as businesses, employees and customers all struggle to adjust to the new rules. Supporting local economies is important and these new rules and the stickers that serve as a reminder for important practices like social distancing rely on everyone working together for the common good.
Businesses of all kinds across the entire country are keen to reopen their doors to the public. The public is equally keen to return to their pre-lockdown activities. The important thing is allowing all of this to happen safely and responsibly.
The past few months have been a rough time for many businesses. Not everyone has been able to weather the storm caused by the sudden need to shut up shop and simply do without customers for months. While the government has distributed some degree of aid to those in need, it has not always been enough and many people have simply been forced to go out of business.
For those that remain, opening in the new normal is the light at the end of the tunnel. Things cannot be exactly as they were before and the stickers will serve as an important reminder of that fact. There will be many people who want to put the entire quarantine experience behind themselves like bad dream but failing to face up to the new reality could spell disaster.
Stickers may seem like a simple thing but it is simple things like this that allow communities to pull together for everyone’s benefit. People will do their best to follow the rules and all they need is a little help and a gentle reminder. With some patience and a few well-placed stickers, everyone can be ready for this new future.
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