Covid UK: BBC staff must wear ‘social distancing proximity devices’

BBC staff have been told to wear ‘social distancing devices’ which will beep if they get too close to another person. 

In an email today, workers in ‘key BBC locations’ were told they will need to wear the technology which will alert them if they are less than two metres apart from someone else. 

Colleagues were called into a meeting at 11am to discuss the changes. 

Staff will also be subjected to lateral flow Covid tests, which will be carried out twice-weekly for those in the office four or more days a week.  

They will be given the devices – which are worn around the neck and beep when people come within two metres of each other – at the entrances of offices. 

It is understood the technology transmits wireless signals which emit a noise if devices are less than two metres apart. 

Staff will be given the devices - which are worn around the neck and beep when people come within two metres of each other - at the entrances of offices

Staff will be given the devices - which are worn around the neck and beep when people come within two metres of each other - at the entrances of offices

Staff will be given the devices – which are worn around the neck and beep when people come within two metres of each other – at the entrances of offices

Workers in 'key BBC locations' were told they will need to wear the technology which will alert them if they are less than two metres apart from someone else. Pictured, Broadcasting House, the headquarters of the BBC in London

Workers in 'key BBC locations' were told they will need to wear the technology which will alert them if they are less than two metres apart from someone else. Pictured, Broadcasting House, the headquarters of the BBC in London

Workers in ‘key BBC locations’ were told they will need to wear the technology which will alert them if they are less than two metres apart from someone else. Pictured, Broadcasting House, the headquarters of the BBC in London

Staff were told in the email: ‘Social distancing proximity devices will be rolled out in key BBC locations to help maintain social distancing. 

‘Anyone coming into those offices will be asked to wear the devices, which will alert wearers when they’re less than two metres apart from someone else.’

A BBC spokesman said: ‘The vast majority of BBC staff continue to work as they have over recent months, either working remotely or in an office location if they are in service critical roles. 

‘For those in a BBC building, we’ve been following COVID-secure workplace guidelines throughout the pandemic. 

‘We continue to adhere to the two metres rule and we are rolling out social distancing proximity devices to support our staff in maintaining safe social distancing at all times.’ 

A raft of companies have designed technology that can help limit the spread of coronavirus. 

The social distancing devices and technology that can ‘detect Covid’

Social distancing app Mind The Gap was designed by Hack Partners for Network Rail. The technology uses audio and Bluetooth signals to detect if users are in close proximity to one another

Social distancing app Mind The Gap was designed by Hack Partners for Network Rail. The technology uses audio and Bluetooth signals to detect if users are in close proximity to one another

Social distancing app Mind The Gap was designed by Hack Partners for Network Rail. The technology uses audio and Bluetooth signals to detect if users are in close proximity to one another

Smart rings: Fitbit and Oura smart rings have developed an algorithm for their devices to detect Covid before a user shows physical symptoms.

Ouras are able to predict that people experience symptoms such as a fever, cough or shortness of breath up to three days before they appear.

Fitbit partnered with the Stanford Medicine and The Scripps Research Institute to design an algorithm that measures a user’s heart rate and skin temperature.

The program notices unusual patterns, which could predict if a wearer had contracted the virus before showing physical symptoms.

Watches: Samsung has also stepped into the market by adding technology to its Galaxy Watch which tells users how many interactions they have through the day.

The app is also designed to teach and reinforce good hand-washing habits.

Wristbands: Workers in Belgium are required to wear a new wristband that vibrates when they violate social distancing and get too close to another worker.

Bluetooth app: The social distancing app Mind The Gap, designed by Hack Partners for Network Rail, uses audio and Bluetooth signals to detect if users are in close proximity to one another

Panic buttons: The tech company Estimote has created small, wireless devices which remind wearers to keep a safe distance and register direct contact exposure. The devices will vibrate if colleagues get too close – and ‘remember’ the interaction.

In the event of a symptomatic employee, companies can quickly locate other exposed team members who are at risk.

The devices are wirelessly chargeable with a programmable panic button, buzzer and vibration.

The devices can also scan for Bluetooth beacons installed in the workplace to identify and map safe and pre-authorized zones. 

Workers at Belgium's Port of Antwerp are required to wear a new wristband that vibrates when they violate social distancing and get too close to another worker

Workers at Belgium's Port of Antwerp are required to wear a new wristband that vibrates when they violate social distancing and get too close to another worker

Workers at Belgium’s Port of Antwerp are required to wear a new wristband that vibrates when they violate social distancing and get too close to another worker

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Staff were quick to make light of the announcement on social media today

Staff were quick to make light of the announcement on social media today

Staff were quick to make light of the announcement on social media today

Staff were quick to make light of the announcement on social media, with BBC North East reporter Colin George sharing the news alongside a meme on Twitter. 

And BBC Radio 4 and world service producer Beth Sagar-Fenton shared the news alongside a Disney GIF.   

Link hienalouca.com

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