COVID-19: How Security Companies Can Help Retailers Reopen Safely

Non-essential retailers will be able to begin a “phased reopening” from a provisional date of June 1st, according to the government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy document published on May 11th.

Retailers will be expected to follow safety guidance to maintain the recommended 2m social distancing policy, along with other measures to reduce the potential spread of the virus amongst staff, customers and clients.

How measures will be enforced has not been announced but the government has released detailed guidance to help non-essential retailers prepare to adapt to operating safely during the pandemic.

Supermarkets have served as a valuable case study for how to operate safely during the pandemic. Much of the guidance is drawn from what has been learned in such settings.

The full guidance can be read here – and we urge that you do so – but we have summarised the key points below:

Security companies are already on the front lines of pandemic retail

From the beginning of the COVID-19 lockdown, security officers – including many of our own – have been instrumental in ensuring the safe operation of supermarkets, food stores and other businesses that have remained open.

As a result, many of the strategies that the government have recommended in their published guidance are already familiar to us. If you represent a retailer who is currently planning how to reopen after June 1st, it is worth contacting a security company for advice.

Security companies are not only well positioned to supply trained officers who can enforce social distancing practices in retail settings but also to provide a strategy for how such practices can be put in place.

Prior to the delivery of any security service, one of our security managers will carry out an on-site risk assessment to ensure that our security officers can work safely and to maximise the effectiveness of the service that we deliver.

Whereas our usual risk assessments would consider entry points, health and safety hazards, blind spots and other security concerns, we are now considering choke points, congestion areas and any service that would intrude on the recommended 2m social distancing.

This is a requirement to ensure the safety of our security officers who have continued to work throughout the lockdown but, as an extension, our clients also benefit from having a COVID-19 risk assessment performed professionally on their site.

We are currently training our security managers to update their risk assessment procedures with up-to-date government guidance for safe operation while maintaining social distancing.

If you are currently planning to reopen your retail environment from June 1st, you can contact us on 0800 772 3786 for advice on keeping customers and staff safe during the pandemic or to arrange a COVID-19 risk assessment from a trained and qualified security manager.


Magenta Security provide award winning security services throughout the UK. We are in the top 5% of ACS approved contractors and were the first security company in Europe to be awarded ISO 14001 for our environmental management systems.

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