Crowd Control during National Lockdown

Crowd Control during National Lockdown

Think about it. Never before have you needed to be extra careful while you wait to get things done. 2020 has permanently changed how you complete errands and attend to your household, lifestyle and business needs. You make orders online only to wait for the delayed delivery of your essential goods, or better yet, you have to wait patiently in a socially distant line to get the service you need.

Have you ever considered the dangers of a queue?

You wait in a closely packed line to purchase groceries, buy tickets to a movie, enter a sports arena, or even use an ATM. Depending on where you are, what time it is, and other factors, queues can differ, going from a few people in line to jammed and just plain risky.

In response to the rising risk of infection, service and retail queues have had to give in to National Lockdown regulations, ensuring maximum protection for you and other waiting customers and the employees who assist you. Using social distancing as a primary crowd control technique has gone a long way towards creating a safe and efficient queuing experience for you during a most uncertain time.

Although these regulations are being lifted as the level of lockdown is lowered gradually, allowing you to go to church, eat out, get your workouts in at the gym, and visit your friends and family, you can admit you miss going to the movies, taking your kids to the arcade or theme park, attending a once-in-a-lifetime live concert or going to watch a show at the theatre after going to the restaurant in one night.

You need to remember that even though the recovery rate is going up, the risk of infection is also still high.

“Social gatherings remain limited to up to less than 50 people, with social distancing protocols still applying in public.”

You might have seen some of the following crowd control measures put in place to ensure social distancing:

  • Curb-side pickup areas
  • Service check-in desks
  • Designated entrance and exit points
  • Sanitiser and temperature checking stations
  • Designated retail returns counter
  • Pensioner entry leeway
  • Clear signage and markers telling you where to go
  • Reduced shopping time
  • Perspex barriers and personal protective equipment
  • Contactless payment methods – such as scanning QR codes on your mobile banking app or tapping your card on the speed point to process payment.
  • Mark points showing where the queue starts and where it ends
  • Floor stickers ensuring safe social distance spacing.
  • Signs or tape marking established areas, like checkout and seating.
  • Digital signage, station lights, tickets and electronic queue management systems to direct you to the next available agent so the line can continue moving seamlessly.

Organising proper queues that ensure safe social distancing and improve your satisfaction should be simple. Practising the crowd control techniques above ensures civil order and restores a pleasurable experience for you and other customers.

“Customer flow management is also about safety. According to traffic engineer John Fruin, “all types of crowds, even relatively small gatherings, can quickly become dangerous if not carefully managed.” Just Google “Black Friday stampede,” and you’ll see what can happen when crowds get out of hand. Other, more recent examples can be found by searching for COVID-19 queuing. In early March of 2020, retailers were faced with the daunting task of efficiently queuing large crowds of panicked shoppers while trying to maintain a safe environment. Businesses that used customer flow management were successful in maintaining order and safety both inside and outside of their facilities.”

While many South Africans continue to practise safety precautions, you still need to be provided with queuing and barrier solutions to keep you safe, organised, and moving efficiently long after South Africa survives the surge of COVID-19.

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