Cameras introduced at municipal markets to supervise numbers of people

11/08/2020 10:15 h

Mercats de Barcelona

Barcelona’s 43 municipal markets continue to implement new measures to guarantee health and safety, just as they have done since the state of emergency for Covid-19 was declared. The latest measure means all municipal market buildings are to introduce bird’s-eye cameras to supervise numbers of people in different areas in real time, enabling warnings to be given when the maximum permitted occupancy is reached.

Markets have implemented various measures in recent months to enable people to do their shopping (with online sales, home deliveries, click and collect services etc.), and to guarantee food safety at facilities, limit access points, increase security staff, distribute face masks to stallholders and make hand sanitiser available. In the same way, in conjunction with the City Council and the rest of the city’s food shops, a set of ten good practices were agreed on for the public to help prevent infection. A daily average of 38,000 people did their shopping at the city’s 39 municipal food markets during the lockdown.

The cameras now located on the ceilings at access points will count the number of people entering and leaving markets based on the heads in view, without the possibility of focusing on people’s faces. The monitoring algorithm will therefore analyse numbers of people entering or leaving via access points, providing information on the number of people present at any given time. The camera system provides information on the overall number of people at the market, as well as partial occupancy of different zones in real time.

The information, notifications and occupancy warnings are given in real time on the monitors connected to the network, with a traffic-light colour system: green when it’s all right to access the market and red when capacity has been reached. This enables security staff to limit access to new customers until numbers allow it.

The automatic system helps markets to ensure compliance with the measures to prevent infections by limiting and controlling occupancy in real time. The reports generated by the system will also allow for an analysis of data and graphics, offering real figures to able to gauge the flow of customers at each market at any moment. This analysis of objective information will enable services and access to each market to be adapted to the reality of different days and times of day.

During an initial stage, the supervision of capacity using head counts from bird’s-eye cameras is being conducted as a pilot project at four municipal markets in Barcelona with very different characteristics.The goal is to check its suitability in different situations and make any necessary adjustments. The four markets which have been using the head count system since June are: Abaceria, Sants, Sarrià and Els Encants de Bellcaire. They were joined by the Mercat de Sant Antoni in July.

Following the completion of the first stage, and given the good results for the control of capacities at the markets, the Barcelona Municipal Institute of Markets is to continue with the second stage until the cameras have been installed at all markets in mid-October. Some 260 cameras and 125 monitors will be installed altogether, according to the number of access points at each building. The stage 2 projects for the Boqueria and the Encants de Bellcaire are still to be defined and executed, given the special characteristics of these two facilities, which haven’t got access doors as such.

Further information

Tags associated with the news item