Covid-19: How do we educate people to queue?

To ensure customers queue according to social/physical distance rules, the management of most premises such as banks and supermarkets draw lines on the floor.

However, most Malaysians are not in the know as to where exactly they should stand.

Is it on the red or yellow lines, in the middle of the two red/yellow lines or anywhere inside the two lines?

Due to this ambiguity, social or physical distancing rule has not been enforced the way it should. While most Malaysians stand at least one to two metres from the next person, not all take the trouble to comply with this rule.

So how do we educate them? What can the management of premises do to ensure full compliance?

I posted the above subject matter in my neighbourhood Facebook page and the first response I got puts an exclamation mark on the issue. The resident remarked, “Why is common sense so uncommon these days?”

I received a varied number of other responses. “Stand just behind the red line” seems a plausible good idea (as if we are getting ready to start a race and the referee is about to sound the horn).

Then there is this intriguing suggestion – “If the person ahead of you stands in front of the line, then you do the same, and if the person stands behind the line, you also do the same so long as you are one metre away”.

It’s seldom we can remain stationary especially if the wait is long. We tend to move unknowingly. So if we follow this suggestion – most of us will be synchronised to the movement of the person in front of the queue!

The most practical suggestion I received was “Stand on the line itself”. A sign with this simple instruction would suffice.

I have yet to see any clear instructions or signage by the management of the premises pertaining to where exactly we should stand.

Here are two suggestions I feel are more realistic to implement and enforce:

  • Draw a circle (instead of a line)
  • Paste two footprint outlines on the floor

By implementing either of the above, it will leave no room for doubt where exactly customers are supposed to stand. They are most likely to stay within the confined space.

No matter which method is utilised, Malaysians have to be mindful the lines, circle or footprints should serve as a reminder to keep our minimum distance from the next person.

This is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily represent the views of Twentytwo13.

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