What is a COVID marshal?

A COVID marshal, or social distancing security guard, is a security officer that helps the public to stay safe during the coronavirus pandemic. COVID marshals are used in busy places such as on the high street, in shops, and at places of work such as offices. The role has come about in response to the COVID 19 pandemic.

Social distancing security guards are becoming increasingly important as restrictions are eased and businesses such as retailers, events, and leisure facilities start to reopen in the coming months. It’s important to ensure the safety of the public as much as possible and to ease their minds so that they are once again safe when getting back to their normal lives. COVID marshals are a very effective way of ensuring things are as safe as possible for the public at all times.

What do social distancing security guards do?

The main purpose of a COVID marshal and social distancing security guard is to advise and support members of the public and businesses (BBC.com). Although social distancing security guards cannot enforce the rules that are in place for social distancing, they are very effective at managing the public and ensuring the rules are being followed. They also take a big pressure off police and council officers that do have the powers to enforce the rules as their resources are thinly spread.

There are many jobs that a COVID marshal or social distancing security officer can carry out in their day to day tasks, but all are focused on creating the safest environment for everyone to be in. Their normal tasks consist of:

Social Distancing and queue management:

COVID marshals are very effective at ensuring the public is following social distancing rules and are spread apart and remaining two meters away from each other to stop the spread of the virus. Marshals can manage queues and people flow, such as those queueing to enter a store when retail opens again, and keep everyone feeling as safe as possible.

Face Masks:

COVID marshals can remind the public of the rules that are in place for all of us. They will not demand or accuse members of the public of not following the rules, but they can act as an effective reminder to people that they should be wearing masks at all times when in public spaces if they are able to do so. This will also ensure that other members of the public feel comfortable in whatever environment they are in.

Cleaning assistance:

COVID marshals can assist in the cleaning and sanitisation of areas that are frequently touched in public places, for example, door handles and trolley handles. They can do this to aid other staff and workers to keep everyone safe and take some pressure off other staff members.


Why do we need security services during a lockdown?

As lockdown eases there will be a high demand for social distancing security guards and COVID security services. With non-essential shops opening up once again, people will be heading back to the high street to shop. This sudden increase in people will cause issues for the public and businesses. The best way to control issues and keep the risks to a minimum is to have social distancing security guards and COVID marshal in place at your business.


What are the guidelines for maintaining social distancing at work and on the high street?

As lockdown eases the rules and requirements for the public and businesses will continue to change and evolve. This is why having a specialist COVID marshal or social distancing security guard is essential in order to make sure everything is being done to stick to the social distancing rules and everyone is safe.

There are, however, certain rules that are going to be staying in place for the long term. For example, social distancing rules such as staying 2 meters apart from others and the use of face coverings. These rules are likely to be in place for an extended time after other restrictions are lifted. The current social distancing rules and guidance issued by the NHS to stay safe are as follows:

  • Stay 2 meters apart from others that you don’t live with or aren’t in your support bubble, this is about 3 steps away.
  • Wear face coverings where at all possible when outside of your home, it’s mandatory on public transport or in shops, etc unless except.
  • Wash your hands as often as possible for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use hand sanitising gel to clean your hands when you can’t access water and soap.
  • Wash your hands when you get home to avoid bringing germs into your home.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing and then wash hands immediately.
  • Open windows in your home to flush out germs in the air.

How do I become a social distancing security guard or COVID marshal?

Different roles and positions require different levels of training and experience. In order to become a security guard, there are certain licenses that need to be acquired, for example, an SIA license. These are needed to ensure you have the correct training to know how to keep everyone safe and secure. COVID marshals also need to undergo training in order to know how to keep the members of the public safe and secured. There are many organisations and employers providing this training for COVID marshals.



In conclusion, COVID marshals and social distancing security guards are there to help the public to feel safe and protected by properly implementing the right social distancing rules and procedures in a public place. They aren’t there to enforce any rules but to advise, help and secure the public as much as they can during these difficult times. Having a dedicated COVID marshal or security guard can very effectively put people’s minds at ease and reassure them that they are being protected as much as possible when out in public trying to get back to their normal lives.


If you would like to hire COVID Marshals and social distancing security guards for your business then why not check out our social distancing security page to find out more about our services. We offer free and instant quotes if you want to enquire about our services, so don’t hesitate to get in touch!