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A few months ago, we never would have imagined that social distancing would become an essential part of daily life. However, the requirement to keep a safe distance away from others when out in public is now at the forefront of our minds, when we step out of the front door to embark on a daily exercise, make an essential journey or head to the nearest shop to stock up on groceries. 

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends keeping at least one metre from others, but governments across Europe have implemented their own guidelines with many recommending a larger minimum distance, for example in the UK this is 2 metres (6ft).

It’s inside critical retailers such as grocery stores, supermarkets, DIY stores and pharmacies where the social distancing rules are most noticeable, and these are also the most difficult places to ensure the distance is maintained. Retailers are all too aware of the struggle. As well as creating in-store signage to ease panic buying, communicate purchasing limits and inform shoppers of changes to opening times and capacity restrictions, they also must do everything they can to ensure shoppers respect the social distancing rules. 

It’s not just retailers that need to think about enforcing social distancing. Other organisations including hospitals, GP surgeries, and public sector offices must be mindful of these policies on their premises. What’s more, even when lockdown measures are relaxed, social distancing is highly likely to still be an ongoing requirement for several weeks, potentially months, therefore businesses that are re-opening must consider ways to ensure compliance, reminding staff and visitors to adhere to the rules. 

Going the distance

Floor stickers are the ideal solution for encouraging social distancing in stores. Typically, floor stickers are used for directing customers around stores, displaying welcome messages at entrances and thank you messages at exits, and enhancing floor spaces with captivating graphics. 

Floor stickers that promote social distancing aren’t something retailers or other businesses can typically roll out quickly and easily, especially those retailers or businesses with vast networks of stores or offices that in some cases span multiple countries. 

From getting the messaging of the floor sticker right, creating an effective design, choosing the right size and format, deciding on the best material for the application, sourcing and ordering media, testing and visualizing in-store, printing and despatching the stickers to each location, the end-to-end process is time consuming. Even if outsourced, businesses are reliant on external print suppliers’ timelines. And for businesses who are committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of customers and staff during a pandemic, while getting their business fully operational, time is of the essence. 

Recognizing the difficulties public sector organisations, retailers and other businesses face when it comes to implementing floor stickers for social distancing purposes, OKI has teamed up with Floralabels to help ease the pressure and make this process as quick and easy as possible. 

Help is at hand

To support businesses and organisations with their floor sticker requirements through the pandemic, OKI Europe is offering free floor sticker media and downloadable artwork communicating social distancing guidelines. This will enable organisations to minimize the time it takes to print essential floor stickers and put them in place, whether in hospitals, surgeries pharmacies, retail stores, public sector organisations, office receptions, hotels or communal spaces, wherever they may be required.

The complimentary designs include three formats: a self-adhesive floor circle and rectangular floor banners in two sizes, each with various messaging options to choose from. 

The floor circle measures 285 x 285mm and includes designs that remind people to keep two metres apart and indicate where customers should stand to maintain a safe distance when queueing. The rectangular floor banner is available in both 215 x 900mm and 297 x 1,320 mm sizes. The available designs for the banner display clear reminders to keep a safe distance and to protect yourself and others. 

To benefit from these free floor stickers, businesses will need access to a printer that has the capabilities to handle the media, formats and sizing of each sticker. Each one has been tested using OKI’s award-winning C800 Series retail-focused printers and the same highly durable self-adhesive Floralabels media that is being offered for free.