Italian social distancing tag the key to safely reopening venues

It’s often been said that the UK has followed the path of Italy through the Coronavirus crisis, and now an innovative sensor being used at tourist attractions in the country is the key to safely reopening British sites too.

The small electronic tag is loaned to visitors when they arrive, and they wear it on their belt or around their neck.  If they get too close to someone else, breaking social distancing guidelines, they are warned by an audible vibration and flashing light.  The distance is set using software so is flexible when social distancing rules change as we move back to normality.

The tags not only warn people but deliver venues full track-and-trace as well.  Each one has a unique QR code so users are logged and any interactions recorded.  If someone reports symptoms of Coronavirus, those who they had come into close contact with can quickly be traced and warned to get a test and self-isolate.

“The system is quick, affordable and easy for people to use,” explains Neil Levett, founder of keepadistance.co.uk which is supplying the tags in the UK.  “It ensures venues are complying with reopening rules and underlining to customers that they are taking their visitors’ health and safety seriously.  If there’s a suspected Coronavirus case, only those at risk need self-isolate which reassures visitors.

Timothy Verdon, Director of Florence’s Duomo Museum explains how he is reopening to tourists, “In addition to the mask and gloves which everyone has to wear, visitors will wear the sensor,” he says.  “If a visitor to the cathedral or museum inadvertently draws too near to someone else… a buzz will alert you that you’ve come too close and you have to regain social distance.  The museum and the monuments will be open, but in full security so the people who want to come… know they can do so in full safety.”

“As we come out of lockdown, it appears that there are three types of attitude among people,” adds Levett.  “Those who are carefree, as witnessed by a lack of social distancing at street parties and on beaches, those who follow the rules carefully and then people who are very risk averse and unsure whether it’s safe to restart social activities.  These tags warn the carefree and those they may get too close to, provide a support to those who follow the rules and reassure those who are worried that they can visit in a safe way.  Can you afford not to have them?”

Levett adds that the tags are part of a range of solutions from Keepadistance.co.uk which also offers temperature measurement devices, sanitisers, screens and signs, and even “co-vids” which are branded animated videos which explain social distancing rules at venues.

Watch Timothy Verdon’s explanatory video above.