In these uncertain times since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have seen a huge amount of changes in the world. Some of these changes have been relatively easy to adapt to whereas others have made it feel as though we are living on an alien planet.

Never in our lifetime have we seen people actively avoiding social contact with one another, wearing masks in the street and using hand sanitizer like it is going out of fashion. But are these things that we can expect to become the norm or are the temporary measures that we shouldn’t become too accustomed to? In this article, we are going to explore the social safety signs we have become familiar with and look at whether or not they are here to stay.

What Are The Most Common Social Safety Signs?

All over the world, communities and governments are coming up with their own strategies and safety warnings that work best within that particular country or location. But there is are some general rules of thumb that we can expect to see no matter where we are in the world. Let’s take a look at some of the most common social safety signs that are now scattered across the globe.

Wash Your Hands/Use Sanitizer

Many businesses and shops are now slowly allowing people to trickle back through their doors, but even the essential businesses which have remained open through the duration of the pandemic have been adhering to a strict hygiene policy. And there is a good reason for this, one of the main ways in which coronavirus can be spread is through an infected person touching a surface and leaving germs behind. However, practising good hand hygiene and staying vigilant in the use of hand sanitizers, we can drastically reduce the spread.

So it is little wonder that now in many public places, signs adorn the walls instructing us to keep our hands clean and free from bacteria. This really is something we should have already been practising but let’s face it – many of us have been guilty of skipping handwashing after using the bathroom or before eating. The pandemic has certainly given us the kick up the backside we needed.

Wear A Mask

Until recently, face coverings or masks were not widely used aside from in some Asian cities where the pollution levels were particularly high and breathing was difficult. However, for the last few months, many people have been strutting their stuff with a new health accessory designed not for style but for keeping them safe.

Wearing a mask might work in one of two ways. It can prevent you from breathing in any germs from other people but most importantly, the mask will stop you from coughing or sneezing onto another person.

One of the key things we have learned about Covid-19 is that you don’t have to show symptoms to be infected and the disease can be spread through respiratory droplets. We are now seeing signs in various places, especially hospitals and other medical premises instructing staff and visitors to put on a face mask to contain the spread. What’s more interesting is that people are now beginning to experiment with different colours and designs of face masks, showing that they may be around for some time to come.

Keep Your Distance

In attempting to stop the spread of coronavirus, most countries and authorities are adhering to the ‘6ft/2m’ rule which stops us from being within these distances of other people.

You only have to enter a supermarket or other public place to see strange lines of people desperately trying to keep their distance, bowing out of the way to let a stranger past. This could be a good thing, it’s certainly encouraged us to slow down our approach to life. We now have to factor in much more time to do a simple grocery shop and we find ourselves considering other people much more than we used to.

Usual Places For Safety Signs

You are likely to see safety signs very frequently when you are out and about but what are the most common places you might spot one? Generally, most businesses and local authorities will have placed signs in various public locations but one of the most common places you will find these signs is in medical facilities such as hospitals and doctors surgeries.

Aside from this, you will likely see signs placed around shops and schools as well as in public spaces such as parks. As the pandemic draws on, you might notice that the information these signs changes slightly in accordance with local and national government advice.

Expected Effect

One of the most common questions when it comes to social safety signs is ‘what is their purpose?’ In reality, are these signs going to have a positive effect and are they likely to curb the virus?

In short, the signs are only as effective as the people reading them. However, it has been observed that through hand hygiene, social distancing and the use of masks that the number of cases of Covid-19 are dropping.

As humans, we are primed to take heed of warnings, even in our most primitive days there were warning signals that alerted us to danger – the fight or flight response is a perfect example of this. So by having safety signs posted about the community, we may be much more likely to ‘follow the rules.’

Whilst all these precautions are serving as a disruption on our lives, if we continue to follow the advice of the safety signs, we will be much more likely to tackle the disease.

That being said, in reality, we still have a long way to go. Within our communities, it is up to us to stop the spread but in higher places, there are people working on vaccines and eradicating the illness. However, this is going to take time. The development of a vaccine could be potentially months, if not years away and even that is not guaranteed, so it may be likely that we have to get used to abiding by these safety signs for some time to come.


The world has changed in many ways over recent months and we have had to become accustomed to a completely new way of life. The installation of various safety signs has become commonplace now and we should expect to see these instructions lasting for some time into the future. Whilst many authoritative organisations believe that we will eradicate the virus, for the time being, it looks likely that things will remain much the same,

Social safety signs look set to remain in place and the measures they are advising should still be followed if we want to see their removal in the future.

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