5 Impacts of COVID-19 on Access Control

5 Impacts of COVID-19 on Access Control

Published on : July 9, 2020

What are the impacts of COVID-19 on access control?


  1. Modified operating hours
  2. Transition to remote security management
  3. Incorporation of thermal temperature monitoring
  4. Innovations in video analytics
  5. Prevalence of contactless technology


Very few in the public could have ever anticipated the drastic impacts COVID-19 has had on global economies. The security industry is part of these sectors that need to consider the effects of COVID-19 on their practices. The impacts of COVID-19 on access control cannot be ignored because this sector has become one of the most important considerations during this time.

With basic concepts such as limiting the entry of certain individuals who don’t meet security and health requirements, the following are just some ways COVID-19 will change the face of access control.


Modified operating hours

One of the most obvious changes to access control for many businesses is a change in their operating hours. If in the past, establishments were open for as much as twelve hours on any given day, this would be reduced to around six or eight hours, depending on the decisions of the owners.

With this change, customers are no longer permitted to step foot inside a building space, for example, until the time has already lapsed for them to be able to. Businesses that had been operating on a 24-hour scheme beforehand would have to implement these changes because it wouldn’t be deemed safe for them to continually accept guests at simply any time during the day. The imposition of a curfew subsequently reduces the potential instances of theft of different kinds of assets.


Transition to remote security management

Transition to remote security management

Though movement has been largely limited during the early stages of quarantine, this has since been relaxed to accommodate efforts to stimulate the economy and boost spending. However, there are still some businesses that choose to conduct most of their operations remotely — as once again, a means to keep everyone safe. Keeping this in mind, businesses and individuals alike are rethinking their access control options by turning towards remote security management.

Instead of being present at the actual site itself, residential and commercial buildings will do well by investing in remote security technology. They could make use of CCTV cameras which can be controlled simply through smartphones or tablet devices.

As long as there is Wi-Fi or mobile data connection, physical buildings can be comprehensively monitored for security breaches. This could also eliminate the need for personnel to be physically present in the area.


Incorporation of thermal temperature monitoring

Innovations in video analytics

The language of COVID-19 has undoubtedly become integrated into access control. The use of thermal devices to screen individual’s temperatures is becoming more prevalent. As such, the incorporation of thermal temperature monitoring would be one of the key changes regarding access control.

Access control devices such as CCTV cameras can be accommodated by thermal imaging technology. As a large volume of people enter a given space, for example, each of their individual temperatures can be determined. This greatly reduces instances of manual temperature measurements which are far riskier and time-consuming.

ELID’s ThermoTrak series is already capable of doing this. These devices can conveniently be modified to fit with pre-existing access control devices such as electronic security barriers, alarm detection systems, CCTV cameras, and more.


Innovations in video analytics

Any thermal temperature measurement device has the capacity to generate a temperature reading. But there is a key feature that sets the best ones apart from the rest — real-time and accurate temperature monitoring. The security landscape during post and pre-COVID-19 would likely be focused on innovations in video analytics.

Video analytics refers to software that is capable of real-time security monitoring. This kind of software is able to recognize patterns, behaviors, and characteristics in a particular environment. High-tech thermal security cameras and other access control devices that are made with video analytics software can perform this task.

More relevantly, this means that a person’s temperature can still be read, even if they’re wearing a face mask. The technology is advanced enough to determine which factors to filter out and to be able to conduct accurate temperature monitoring.


Prevalence of contactless technology

As this wave of uncertainty persists, it’s also ideal to turn towards contactless technology for access control. There would be a reduction in the reliance on security methods which involve the use of high-touch surfaces and devices.

Traditional modes of access control may no longer be viable during this period. Think about this kind of situation: In the past, authorized personnel who needed to gain entry to a specific room in a building would need to utilize key cards, fingerprint biometric scanners, or a combination of the two.

These instances would likely shift towards the use of contactless biometrics, such as retinal scanners, or contactless RFID readers. The latter is far safer because it reduces the need for high-touch elements like the ones mentioned above. For purposes relating to enhanced access control, the use of unique identification numbers further prevents a security compromise.


Key Takeaway

The security sector is just one of many industries that will experience a kind of overhaul with the way things are done. Living in a COVID-19 landscape means adhering to social distancing, hygiene practices, and maintaining overall health.

Knowing the many impacts of COVID-19 on access control, industry players would have to consider how existing security technology can make way for many innovations in this field, in order to properly respond to future security demands.

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