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How to get people to wear a facemask and adhere to social distancing?

How to get people to wear a facemask and adhere to social distancing?In many places around the world the COVID Pandemic appears to be past the peak and restrictions are starting to lift but we still need to be careful and social distancing and mask-wearing will be an essential part of everyday life for some time to come.  So the blog post ‘How to get people to wear a facemask and adhere to social distancing?‘ from our sister company Signs For Safety has some great tips for encouraging continued COVID prevention behaviour.

The Government’s mantra of Hands, Face, Space is undoubtedly good advice but there are different levels of acceptance. With mask-wearing being one of the most argued elements, we look at how you can use signage to encourage people to comply with this and other COVID safety advice.

The UK Government’s current guidelines are to wear a face-covering in indoor spaces or where social distancing is difficult. You can read the most up to date UK guidelines here:

While the majority of people are complying and wearing a face covering and also social distancing to protect themselves and others from the spread of COVID there are still others that resist the government’s guidelines.

While some people do have legitimate medical reasons not to wear a facemask there are still those that just do not want to comply whether through belief or political opinion.

Currently, there are lots of psychological discussions on peoples’ behaviour, mask-wearing and COVID preventative actions. There is always a slight resistance to change until it becomes a ‘social norm’. Social norms can change rapidly if there are enough early adopters. In an online experiment published in Science, researchers found that to change social norms you just need 25% of people to be on board. From this percentage onwards the majority of people will follow suit. Unfortunately, there will be those individuals that will not adopt these new ‘norms’. While a polite spoken reminder can often provoke people into mask wearing action or safely keeping 2 metres from others, the threat of conflict can make this difficult and without additional support when challenging someone’s behaviour business owners will need other cues like signage to help get maximum compliance.


The Role of Signage and COVID Prevention

covid prevention education signsEducation

People will generally adopt certain behaviours when they completely understand why it is necessary. Different people will respond to different forms of messaging. Those that respond to more visual stimulus will respond to a simple wear a mask icon, whereas those that use more of their emotional brain will respond to positive re-enforcement with wording such as ‘Wear A Mask and Stop the Spread of COVID’.

Confidence Building

Professional clear signage will reassure the public that you are taking all the necessary precautions and their safety is your priority. People will remember the businesses that handled the pandemic efficiently and reassuringly.  Home produced signs will do little to support your branding. If budget allows, consider bespoke signage that can be printed using your logo to help build brand.

Message Consistency

Marketing firm Yankelovich, Inc. suggest, the average modern person is exposed to around 5,000 ads per day, with that amount of messaging you will need to be consistent with your signage to get your instructions through all the ‘noise’. Ideally use the same symbols and wording on all your signage, and other communications, throughout the visitors’ journey.

This is backed by the use of psychology in general advertising, one popular belief is the “Rule of 7,” which suggests consumers need to hear a message seven times before they will consider taking action.

We have a range of COVID Safety signs in different styles to ensure consistency through your business.

       Covid prevention signs

Adapting the Message to Your Audiencechild friendly covid graphics

Think about your visitors use the tone of voice consistent with your brand while still getting the message across and use language and graphics that will suit your environment. Read our Getting the COVID safety message across in a child-friendly way using posters & floor graphics case study.

For more information see our COVID related safety brochures covering COVID General safety and also our Back To Work brochure designed to help to get your business open again.

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