With the UK government now eyeing the relaxation of the lockdown methods that have been in place for the past several months, many shops and offices are looking forward to once more opening their doors. The same goes for the hospitality sector, where the restarting of the economy will bring with it a steadily increasing number of customers, especially towards the end of summer as some people look to make the most of the remainder of the school holidays.
However, although restrictions are being lifted, COVID-19 still poses a significant threat to both the physical health of people and the financial health of their businesses. No establishment wants to risk becoming the epicentre of a potential outbreak, putting a premium on the value of instituting effective and robust procedures for protecting customers against the disease. Fortunately, advances in imaging technology allow us to present an effective first line of defence in the form of body temperature monitoring.
What are Temperature Monitoring Solutions?
Body temperature monitoring refers to scanning individuals at regular intervals to make sure they do not have an elevated temperature. As this is one of the first symptoms of the disease, detecting a high temperature early can allow employers to prevent an infected individual from passing on the virus to others. Whilst taking someone’s temperature may conjure up images of using an oral thermometer, twenty-first century tech allows us to precisely gauge someone's ambient body temperature from a distance using basic thermal sensors. When combined with a camera to make a complete scanner package, this offers employers a simple way to quickly check the health of staff and guests alike in a non-intrusive manner.
This information can then be used in conjunction with a business' isolation procedures in order to prevent the potentially sick individual from coming into direct contact with others. This can take the form of an employee being instructed to take time off or a customer being asked to leave the premises. Furthermore, these scanning devices can be monitored from a workstation, providing another level of separation and safety for the employees involved. The solution can even send out alerts to workers' mobile devices to let them know if someone in the area is sick, allowing further separation and ease of alerting.
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Problems for the Hospitality Sector?
Unfortunately, customer facing parts of the economy are at the greatest risk from COVID-19. The hospitality industry faces its own particular set of challenges, with restaurants, hotels and bars having to balance a potentially crowded environment with the need for virus safety. This is coupled with a need for anti-coronavirus measures to be as unobtrusive as possible in order to preserve the customer experience and ensure repeat business, whilst also demonstrating that the company is taking the crisis seriously.
This makes passive but effective measures like body temperature monitoring a straightforward way to tackle these concerns. Scanners can be positioned in prominent places to increase customer confidence, whilst simultaneously providing good coverage of the area and testing people as they arrive on the premises to determine if they should be permitted entry. Furthermore, by installing automatic scanners, staff can remain distanced and protected from infected customers, or they can test people on the spot with handheld devices. By providing a visible and solid degree of care for customers, companies can avoid reputational damage that could otherwise compound preexisting losses from the lockdown period.
The scanning devices come in several basic formats, which allow for a degree of flexibility when it comes to deployment. Monitoring terminal stations can be positioned by entrances to screen guests as they enter the premises or can be installed in staff areas to make sure workers are safe. These are simple stands with a camera and screen on top that can process individuals in a queue as they move past. Fixed wall-mounted thermal cameras can screen people more quickly, ensuring that infected people in crowded areas aren't allowed to mingle further without being detected. These cameras can also be setup on a tripod for ease of deployment.
Monitoring of these scanners can be done remotely on smart devices or workstations using existing cabling or 4G modem, eliminating the requirement for the hardware to be linked to a company network, which can take up valuable time. They are designed to be fast to deploy and are easy to get to grips with, utilising simple and intuitive software to aid in setup and daily use. Hand-held thermometers can also be used to confirm results or offer on-the-spot tests whilst away from the larger imaging devices, which can be ideal for smaller establishments. All of these devices can send out alerts to staff mobile devices if required so the workstation does not have to be constantly manned.
As outlined above, ANT has a range of scanning technologies ready and available for rapid deployment. They are purpose built to be easy to set up and use, with the ability to customise settings and monitoring parameters simply, letting businesses build a monitoring solution that is best suited to their management style and physical requirements. By combining state of the art body temperature monitoring tech with an effective distancing protocol and good staff training, hospitality businesses can clamp down on the risks posed to their staff and customers by COVID-19, paving the way to recovery.
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