Intelligent security solutions to help retailers reopen safely
26 May 2020

Intelligent security solutions to help retailers reopen safely

As non-essential retailers across England prepare to reopen from 15 June, the focus is firmly on establishing new measures to ensure staff and customers feel safe while in store.

On 25 May 2020, the UK Government published new advice for helping retail businesses in England to reopen to customers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The latest guidance outlines the steps business owners must take in order to become 'COVID-19 secure' and begin welcoming staff and customers back into stores from 15 June 2020.

Separate guidelines apply to businesses in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.


When it comes to security and safety, the retail environment already faces a number of challenges. While coronavirus is understandably the number one concern at present, it's important for business owners to remain vigilant against the continual threats of theft and criminal activity.

The good news is, with the latest intelligent security solutions, you can manage a whole host of safety risks, including the spread of viruses like COVID-19.

In this article, we'll outline the key requirements for meeting the COVID-19 secure guidelines, and explain how security solutions can be used to help manage occupancy and ensure social distancing on the shop floor, to keep your retail business safe.

Which businesses can reopen from 15 June 2020?


The UK Prime Minister's Office have explained that:

"All other non-essential retail including shops selling clothes, shoes, toys, furniture, books, and electronics, plus tailors, auction houses, photography studios, and indoor markets, will be expected to be able to reopen from 15 June 2020 if the Government’s five tests are met and they follow the COVID-19 secure guidelines, giving them three weeks to prepare."

These non-essential shops and branches can include:

  • Food retailers
  • Chemists
  • Hardware / Homeware stores
  • Fashion shops
  • Charity shops
  • Betting shops and arcades
  • Tailors, dress fitters and fashion designers
  • Car dealerships
  • Auction houses
  • Antique stores
  • Retail art galleries
  • Photography studios
  • Gift shops and retail spaces in theatres, museums, libraries, heritage sites and tourism sites
  • Mobile phone stores
  • Indoor and outdoor markets
  • Craft fairs
  • Similar types of retail
  • Bank branches
  • Post offices
  • Other open money businesses

Some specific retailers and businesses in other sectors - including leisure and hospitality - are not yet able to reopen under current government rules.

🔗 Click here to see which businesses and venues must remain closed to members of the public

What do I need to do to become COVID-secure?

The Government website has been updated with new guidance for retailers that explains that you must follow their 5 steps to working safely and COVID-19 secure guidelines for shops and branches.

What are the 5 steps to working safely?

1. Carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment
2. Develop cleaning, handwashing and hygiene procedures
3. Help people to work from home
4. Maintain 2m social distancing, where possible
5. Where people cannot be 2m apart, manage transmission risk

đź”— Read the 5 steps to working safely guidance in full

What are the COVID-19 secure guidelines for shops and branches?

In addition to the 5 steps above, the UK Government has provided a more detailed set of guidelines for people who work in or run shops, branches, stores or similar environments. By following these guidelines for your business, you will be able to demonstrate to staff and customers that you are COVID-19 secure, and able to open safely to the public from 15 June 2020.

The guidelines focus on the importance of assessing risks and preventing the spread of coronavirus within your premises. The information provided is comprehensive and may be a lot to take on board for many retail business owners. To help you understand your responsibilities, we have tried to summarise below what each section of advice means.

🔗 Read the COVID-19 secure guidance for shops and branches in full

How can I tell people that my business is COVID-19 secure?

Once you have carried our your COVID-19 secure risk assessment and implemented your new measures, the Government recommends that you demonstrate this to staff, customers and visitors by displaying their official poster, which you can download here. They also recommend that you add this to your business's website.


How can security solutions help businesses stay COVID-19 secure?

There are several critical responsibilities within the COVID-19 secure guidelines that can be addressed using security products. As specialists in this subject, we can help with your risk assessment and advise on a range of intelligent solutions that will help you keep your staff and customers safe, including:

Manage occupancy of your retail premises through people counting technology


COVID-19 secure challenge

To meet the COVID-19 secure guidelines, you will need to calculate how many people can safely occupy the floor space in their premises, keeping 2m apart at all times. This can be particularly challenging in high traffic areas such retail, dining areas and toilets, or where space is limited.

People Counting Solution

Our People Counting Solution can help retail businesses to efficiently monitor and manage the occupancy in a given space by automatically counting in and out every individual. This is an effective way of avoiding overcrowding, supporting social distancing and managing the flow of customers.

How it works

CCTV cameras with built-in analytics are placed on main entry / exit points. These identify each individual as they approach or leave an area and adjust the total accordingly. A display screen is set up at the entrance with a simple counter showing the current numbers and remaining capacity. Once the area is full, a polite request to wait is displayed, which can also be supported with an audio announcement.

Minimise contamination at exit points through touchless access control devices


COVID-19 secure challenge

Employees and visitors to your premises will be wary of contact with potentially contaminated surfaces, such as door handles. To comply with the latest COVID-19 secure guidance, shop owners are required to introduce measures to regularly sanitise and minimise contact with these surfaces.

Touchless Access Control Solution

Our Touchless Access Control Solution offers a low-cost solution for non-contact entry and exit. By taking away the need to physically touch a button to release a door, you can lower the risk of germs and viruses being passed on via person-to-surface contact.

How it works

Our no-touch door release uses infra-red lighting to detect movement within close range, and automatically open the connected door nearby. Where manually operated doors are in place, it may be possible to add automated door openers in conjunction with the no-touch door release, to achieve the same solution.

đź”— Find out more

Monitor and enforce social distancing using Remote Video Solutions


COVID-19 secure challenge

Once staff and customers are in your store, you'll need to keep a watchful eye on whether social distancing measures are being adhered to. And you’ll need to be ready to reinforce store policies if not.

Remote Video Solutions

With our Remote Video Solutions, you can observe on-site behaviour, monitor the flow of people and manage social distancing with our fully managed video surveillance system, complete with intelligent video analytics and audio safety reminders.

How it works

Monitored 24/7 by our Securitas Operations Centre, skilled operators keep a watchful eye on the health and performance of your security system. You can receive real-time alerts when workspaces become crowded, segregation lines are crossed or assigned zones reach capacity. And with the addition of speakers, we can broadcast safety warnings or reminders on demand and at set times.

đź”— Find out more

Identify people with a high temperature using thermal cameras


COVID-19 secure challenge

If your business is heavily reliant on staff or visitors attending your site, a contagious disease such as the coronavirus (COVID-19) has the potential to quickly and seriously impact your workforce and business continuity.

Multi-Temperature Monitoring Solution

Our Multi-Temperature Monitoring Solution is an effective way to routinely check the body temperatures of people entering your premises. Thermal cameras allow you to analyse up to 30 people at once while achieving temperature readings up to ± 0.3°C accuracy. We can offer quick to deploy, permanent or temporary solutions which are easy to set up and remove.~

How it works

A thermal camera and monitor is set up in a high pedestrian area. As people approach the camera, the built-in analytics use visual and thermal technology to give a highly accurate temperature reading for every individual in view, within seconds.

đź”— Find out more

Where can I get more advice on my security?

Here at Allcooper, we specialise in protecting businesses with electronic security systems and intelligent solutions to help you minimise and manage security risks.

If you would like advice about your business security needs, please contact us on 01452 372626 or and we'll be happy to help.

Related external links

đź”— Coronavirus (COVID-19): What you need to do
đź”— Coronavirus (COVID-19): Guidance for employers and businesses
đź”— Coronavirus (COVID-19): Guidance for food businesses on coronavirus


For all your fire & security needs, call 01452 372626

contact us