With social distancing being at the forefront of our fight against the spread of Coronavirus, many celebrities and people with a high-net-worth may find it difficult to find executive protection. As you may know, the typical bodyguard needs to be close enough to their client in order to protect them from physical harm.
Executive protection agents are not your typical bodyguards; they go above and beyond the call to ensure safety, security, and privacy for their clients. However, it’s important for executive protection agents and drivers to take extra precautions during the time of Coronavirus.
While many states still have stay-at-home orders or lockdowns in place, many Americans still must travel to work or between homes to visit their relatives. A high net worth individual running a company can’t just stop doing their job because the state has been locked down.
This means that they’ll likely have to travel. Whether they’re leaving the state or traveling just down the road, celebrities and high net worth individuals are a greater risk than regular people for physical altercations, whether that’s due to the paparazzi or obsessed “fans.”
It’s the job of an agent to ensure complete protection of their client, which includes keeping them safe from physical harm and getting them to their locations without incident.
While the job of a close protection/security driver is of the utmost importance, Coronavirus has made this job increasingly more difficult, with many factors that need to be taken into consideration. Normally, the driver would drive the client to the next location, whether that’s the office or their home. They will have mapped out the fastest and safest routes.
Because of COVID-19, however, all Americans must practice social distancing. This means that we cannot be in the car with our clients. As you may know, Coronavirus can go undetected for 14 days, and many people don’t show any symptoms. This means that either the client or an agent could have Coronavirus and not know if they haven’t been tested.
It is our job to keep our clients safe, which means keeping them safe from Coronavirus to the best of our ability as well, which means that we are no longer able to get up close and personal with our protection detail.
Instead, our agent will follow behind the car of the client and know the exact location the client is going. Our executive protection agents also wear the required mask to protect both themself and the client. Of course, all of the preliminary tasks will be taken care of ahead of time as well.
For example, just because we can’t be in the car with the client doesn’t mean that we can’t map out the best and safest route for them beforehand. We will also ensure that we know of the types of parking available at the location and give our clients this information before they get in their own car.
Our cars are cleaned and sanitized following the Hertz Gold Standard Clean procedure. Most importantly, this includes disinfecting your cars to ensure that they are safe for our clients to enter if need be. If we do have a case where our client must be in the car with us, we will all wear masks and gloves to avoid the possible spread of the virus in close proximity.
While the safety of our clients is our top priority, we must always consider our agents as well. After all, without our skilled professionals, we wouldn’t be able to provide the best protection for our clients. That being said, we need to be able to continue to social distance even during executive protection so that we do not spread the virus.
What Law Enforcement and Security Personnel Need to Know
During the Coronavirus crisis, law enforcement and security agents are expected to continue to deliver the best quality of protection service to the public. However, it’s also necessary to follow the guidelines given by the state and federal government in our efforts to combat COVID-19. Security personnel must be aware of the following information and protocols:
Recognizing the Signs of COVID-19
In order to effectively protect clients, we must also take their health into consideration. By understanding that fever, cough, and shortness of breath are symptoms of Coronavirus, we can help our clients get the medical attention they need while keeping our agents safe from the virus.
It’s also important that security personnel understand that symptoms of Coronavirus can appear between two and 14 days after exposure. This means that someone not showing symptoms may soon show symptoms. Those with the virus may also not show signs of the virus, making our efforts in social distancing and wearing masks crucial for the health of the public.
How to Protect Yourself
Protecting yourself from exposure is crucial. The government has advised all people to maintain a distance of at least six feet from one another, especially anyone with a cough or a sneeze. While it is allergy season, it can be impossible to know who is suffering from seasonal allergies versus Coronavirus.
Another guideline is to practice good hygiene, especially when it comes to your hands and face. Make sure that your hands are washed, and you do not touch your face. We do not always think before we touch something, so it’s crucial to wash your hands frequently and use hand sanitizer on the go.
Understanding your agency’s plan for exposure is critical. If you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, you are putting everyone you come into contact with at risk, including yourself.
Use Personal Protective Equipment
Your agency should provide you with latex gloves, protective eyewear, and masks in order to keep yourself and the public safe from spreading Coronavirus. Ensure that you use these items once you have them so that you can continue to do your job effectively.
Close protection detail has changed in the last few months, but our goal to protect our client has not. Combating Coronavirus may take a few additional steps, but it’s worth it to continue to flatten the curve and improve public health.