Vancouver liquor store uses thermal camera to screen customers

"This is one more step that we are taking in the battle with COVID-19 in order to keep the staff and customer's safe and this technology will be the reality for many places in Vancouver and the world from now on."

Photo courtesy of Value on Liquor

A liquor store in South Vancouver has adopted a new way to keep its customers and staff safe in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic: thermal cameras. 

Located in the Luminaire Plaza at 1450 SW Marine Drive, Value on Liquor is open seven days a week. Store manager Abri van den Berg tells Vancouver Is Awesome in a phone call that the new cameras were installed last week, and that the store started using them over the weekend. He says it is a dual camera - one is a regular surveillance camera with a wide-view lens and high-definition - the other is a thermal camera that scans the customer's body temperature.

"The cameras scan the customer's body temperature when they come into the store," he explains. "If it is between 37.5°C and 38°C the shift supervisor will receive an alert."

"If it is over 38°C it triggers the alarm."

If someone has a fever over 38°C and has triggered the alarm, Berg says that they will be asked to leave the store. However, he notes that that hasn't happened yet. 

"We had hundreds of customers over the weekend and no one triggered the alarm," he remarks. 

Berg notes that he thinks most people are following the advice of Canada's top doctor, Dr. Theresa Tam, and staying home when they are ill. He notes that staff are checked in the beginning of their shift, as well.

Berg says there is a notice posted on the front of the store advises customers that they will be scanned when they come inside. With this in mind, he adds that he's received a great deal of positive feedback from clients, and he thinks they appreciate the measures the store is taking to keep them safe.

"Feedback from customers has been positive so far. In fact, I haven't had any negative feedback," he states.

"This is one more step that we are taking in the battle with covid-19 in order to keep the staff and customer's safe and this technology will be the reality for many places in Vancouver and the world from now on."

While Berg admits that some people may have a fever from something other than COVID-19 or another contagious virus, he hopes that people will be understanding of the precaution. He adds that the store is not keeping a record of the temperatures, either. 

The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to other respiratory illnesses including the flu and common cold, and many people experience fever.

In addition to following the regular COVID-19 safety precautions, the store has also introduced a Senior's hour from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. 

Based in China, the thermal camera manufacturer, Hikvision, is a global leader in video surveillance products. 

Vancouver Is Awesome