The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has increased awareness amongst the public and the majority of people are now more cautious than ever.

As of the 11th May 2020, the prime minister has set out further points of the government’s plan to combat Coronavirus. The next stage of the lockdown, according to the prime minister’s address, will have slightly reduced restrictions and, if all rules are followed, more and more businesses will be opening in the coming months.

However, whilst some businesses may be allowed to reopen sooner rather than later, sufficient precautions must be undertaken to ensure that the United Kingdom does not see a second spike in the number of infections or deaths from COVID-19.

Furthermore, with a vaccine still perhaps half a year away (or one that could perhaps never exist) businesses will have to proceed with caution even after the lockdown is lifted to allow all businesses to open to some degree.

How will physical security change after lockdown?

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has increased awareness amongst the public and the majority of people are now more cautious about what they choose to touch and interact with. This will likely remain the same after the lockdown as the government and the public continue to ensure that a second spike does not occur.

Physical security measures, such as security gates and barriers, remain an effective and popular form of security for a number of businesses across a variety of industries and sectors. However, many of these methods of security require and receive a lot of manual input from a number people on a daily basis.

This could become a problem as the COVID-19 virus can survive on surfaces for a number of hours (although even this is still uncertain) and many people could become infected if the correct precautions are not taken or followed.

Not only has COVID-19 impacted these specific forms of physical security but has also rendered traditional forms of access control, such as keypads and fingerprint readers, redundant due to the potential risk they pose.

As such it becomes the role of you, the business owner, and your key security staff to ensure that your security measures ensure the health and wellbeing of your customers and the public, whilst also remaining effective as to ensure that your business premises remains safe and secure.

What security options are suitable for a post lockdown society?

As the world begins to normalise over the coming months, due to new and ever-changing government guidelines, it is essential the organisations are prepared for the inevitable shift in which types of security are acceptable and designed with public health in mind.

With that being said, what are the safest, yet most reliable, security options and systems available to you in a post lockdown world?

Hands-Free Systems:

Hands free systems can be integrated with a variety of modern access security installations such as security doors, gates and barriers. With some security options you may be able to wave a hand in front of the reader or use a covered body part such as an elbow.

For external security gates and barriers there are proximity card readers, which allow each user to scan a their own individual card which grants them access to a building or facility without having t touch as keypad or button.

Another option is automatic number plate recognition (ANPR), which permits a selection of authorised vehicles through a gate or barrier by reading their number plate. This is commonly used in business car parks but can be used at an entry point that is designed for vehicular access.

Two-Factor Authentication:

Businesses with higher levels of security, such as fingerprint or biometric readers across the majority of the premises, don’t want to be forcing employees to touch the readers or keypads. However they will still wish to remain compliant with their own security guidelines.

Two-factor authentication allows employees to use their mobile phones in order to open or unlock doors that may be locked. The mobile phone will use its own biometric reader or a pass code to bypass the need to touch a keypad or button and, as each phone is individual the risk of transmission is greatly reduced.

Automatic security systems:

Perhaps the most obvious contactless security systems are those defined as ‘automatic’ that use sensors to detect when they are required to open and close. This type of security is common across security gates and barriers and is also found on doors in hospitals.

Whilst these are an effective security method and remove the need for contact, it is important to ensure that they are locked and secured outside hours of operation.

It is also important to remember that whilst these are some of the more common methods of contactless security available to businesses, there are a number of other options available such as remote control security that is monitored by a single person only, and hands free intercom systems.

However the security system that you choose will depend entirely on the needs and requirements of you and your business as well as your available budget and size. Therefore it is always recommended to assess your requirements before committing to a new security system.