Drone makes sure shoppers maintain social distancing at Westerlo retail park

The Westpark retail park at Westerlo in Antwerp Province has deployed a drone to ensure that shoppers waiting to enter one of its stores keep their distance from each other. The stores at the site were open again on Monday morning for the first time since 18 March. One of the most important rules to be observed if the lockdown exit process is to be a success is that people that don’t live under the same roof maintain social distancing at all times, including when they go shopping. 

Jan De Nys of Retail Estates told VRT Radio 2 Antwerp that the drones are “handier than stewards”.

The drones give the following message to customers as they fly by: "Dear customer, we are pleased to see you all again. We ask you to always keep a distance of 1.5 metres, also when you are on the car park. Thank you for respecting the rules on safety”.

Jan De Nys of the company that owns the retail park, retail estates told VRT Radio 2 Antwerp that “Drones are more efficient than people. They are more mobile and you can deploy them everywhere more easily. By using them we hope to be able to keep the rush under control”.

Shoppers are generally positive about the use of the drones.   "A very good idea, it gives you a feeling of security”, one shopper said.

"It never a bad idea to remind people about the measures. Just as long as they don’t use the drones to hand out fines”, another shopper joked.