Social Distancing
Which Stanchions Should You Buy For Safe Social Distancing?

Which Stanchions Should You Buy For Safe Social Distancing?

Everyone is doing their best to operate safely in 2020 and 2021, but it can be difficult for small businesses to promote safe social distancing in their aisles, checkout lines, entryways, and exits. Crowd control devices like retractable belt barriers can be effective tools for this goal, but with so many stanchions for sale, it’s hard to know which barriers are best suited for safe social distancing.

In this post, we’ll examine the stanchion features and benefits that matter most for this exact goal:

1. Retractable belts which accommodate changing line formations.
2. Freestanding stanchions which can be easily moved or removed.
3. Belt barriers with instructional belt messaging.
4. Retractable belt barrier stanchions with sign posts for additional messaging.

Retractable belts which accommodate changing line formations.

One of the most common crowd control devices is a classic post and stanchion pole like the ones you see at movie theatres and museums. These stanchions have elegant posts connected with chains or ropes.

However, stanchions like these lack an important feature for social distancing needs. While these stanchions offer some flexibility in how a line form is created or adapted, their rope and chain barriers are fixed in length, limiting the formations a store owner can create. Retractable belt barriers like these on the other hand have belts that extend and retract from 7.5 feet up to 75 feet in some cases. Topped with 4-way belt receivers, they can be used to make even complex line formations. 

As 6 foot social distancing mandates make queue lines longer, customers need more guidance to facilitate how checkout lines and waiting lines should be formed within a business’s floor plan. It’s not enough to hope that customers will know where to form their own lines while maintaining 6 foot distances. A shop whose checkout lines once easily fit in front of their counters will now need to strategically facilitate longer lines with more doubling back. This is exactly what retractable belt barrier stanchions were made for. 

Freestanding stanchions which can be easily moved or removed.

Throughout this pandemic, social distancing mandates have seen many fluctuations as cases rise and fall in any given area. While there are a large number of fixed or wall mounted retractable belt barriers which can be secured directly to the floor or wall, this arrangement is too permanent for most small businesses, looking for temporary crowd control solutions which can be easily removed when social distancing mandates go away.

Instead, social distancing calls for impermanent crowd control structures like these free standing retractable belt barriers. Stanchions like these have simple galvanized steel (or even cast iron) bases and often include rubber floor protectors to ensure floor surfaces aren’t damaged. These stanchions can be easily moved, removed, and stored when social distancing mandates subside.

Belt barriers with instructional belt messaging.

Crowd control barriers go a long way to keeping customers organized, but extra messaging is often required to ensure customers are keeping 6 feet apart, properly following social distancing protocols. (It’s not enough for customers to keep in an organized line.)

One excellent location for instructional messaging is directly on the belt barrier itself. This is a natural space for pedestrians to look for guidance, and many retractable belt barriers for sale accommodate custom messaging. 

Traditionally businesses have used this space for custom branding, but with social distancing mandates in place, many are customizing retractable belt barriers to emphasize 6-foot spacing regulations instead.

Retractable belt barrier stanchions with sign posts for additional messaging.

Placing 6-foot messaging directly on a retractable belt barrier’s belt is great for visibility, but it can be limiting for future uses a business might have for their retractable belt barrier stanchions, after social distancing mandates subside.

For this reason, businesses may want to consider purchasing retractable belt barriers along with sign toppers. These retractable belt barrier sign toppers fit easily in place on top of the stanchion, around the belt cassettes, allowing the stanchion to double as a floor sign for additional social distance messaging.

Just as the belt is a convenient spot for customers for find the guidance they’re looking for, placing signs just above the stanchion post is an equally eye-catching and helpful location for social distancing instructions.


While there are plenty of crowd control solutions for ordinary queue management, social distancing mandates are impermanent, ever-changing, and potentially confusing for pedestrians to adhere to. For this reason, the above features make retractable belt barriers especially useful for implementing social distancing protocols in your business. 

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