The Importance of Social Distancing Signage During the Pandemic
Along with its new health concerns and standards, COVID-19 has introduced Americans to a new lexicon: we are all working to flatten the curve, we are amid a pandemic, we advocate for contact tracing, and we must practice social distancing every single moment of every day. For businesses, healthcare institutions, schools, and public and private organizations that have reopened their doors during this time, social distancing signage is a key part of their marketing and public safety efforts.
Why Do We Use Social Distancing Signage?
There are several reasons that we use signage to reinforce social distancing requirements of six feet between people from different households, and there are countless types of signage available for encouraging people to avoid close contact with others. These typically include important messages to parents and students in a school, customers in a business, or patients and their loved ones in a healthcare environment about the importance of maintaining six feet (approximately two arm lengths) from one another.
Types of Social Distancing Signage
- · Floor Decals - adhesive graphics for wayfinding, standing distance, marketing messaging, or branding
- · Window Decals – customizable, semi-permanent (removable) decals that can be printed at nearly any size for use in stores or store windows, on glass doors, or most smooth surfaces preparing visitors for mask or distance requirements
- · Posters – printed on paper, cloth, vinyl, or canvas, sturdy posters can be mounted, framed, or hung and may have protective coatings like laminate or UV for long-term messaging reminders
- · Vinyl Banners - durable and highly visible, banners can reinforce social-distancing messaging in a big way. They can also be hung throughout a location, indoors or outside.
- · Yard Signs – strong and long-lasting, yard signs help proclaim a social distancing or other health and safety message outside of a school or business
- · Others including sneeze guards, A-frames, and retractable banners
The BBC reports that overly-wordy signs will be ignored, while bright and to-the-point signs stand out. They also found that when social distancing signage and practices are present, and the community works together to spread these messages, those who live, work, shop, and go to school in the community will observe the requirements and do their part to ensure distancing is maintained.
Benefits of Social Distancing Signage
Signs reminding students, employees, customers, and others about the need to maintain social distancing are a new-to-us requirement, and many of us occasionally still forget. Having regular signage scattered throughout a location serves to continually reinforce the message and can help eliminate guesswork for those who want to ensure that they are allotting the appropriate amount of space between themselves and the person ahead of them.
Public Health Safety & Responsibility
Social distancing signage is a fulfillment of both legal requirements and the social contract. Employers are obligated to protect their employees and customers, as schools are their students, and any place of business is their visitors and customers. Signage also serves as a regular reminder that we all have a responsibility to contribute to stopping the spread of the coronavirus, taking the necessary steps to prevent transmission through coughing, sneezing, talking, or other face-to-face actions.
Employers and educators must alter the physical space they operate in to encourage social distancing and the physical separation of employees from one another and customers. Clear signage should be located in places where people are prone to congregate or at entrances/exits, aisles and walkways, cashpoints, cashiers, lobbies, etc.
These are unprecedented, anxious times. Signage can serve as a reminder of the importance of observing social distancing, but it can also serve to reassure those who are concerned. Letting the public know that your business, school, or facility observes social distancing will put many minds at rest.