Australian shoppers divided as Aldi removes Covid sneeze guards from its checkouts
Aldi makes huge change to the checkouts after increased customer demand – but not everyone is happy about it
- Aldi have removed sneeze guards at checkouts
- The screens were erected during the Covid pandemic
Shoppers have noticed a change to Aldi checkouts in recent weeks and while some are thrilled about the change not everyone is convinced it’s good thing.
The clear sneeze guard screens that were erected around cash registers in 2020 to combat the spread of Covid-19 have been removed.
The store has been praised for a more ‘lighter and user-friendly’ look, with many saying it’s ‘about time’ the ‘annoying’ screens were removed.
Some joked they forgot the shields weren’t always a part of the checkouts while others slammed the move as Covid cases are still in the thousands.
‘Just visited my local Aldi in Camberwell and it took me a few seconds to work out what was different,’ a Victorian woman wrote on Facebook.
Aldi shoppers have shared their relief as the supermarket is removing the clear sneeze guard screens from around its checkouts – but the move has left some customers concerned
‘The screens around the cashiers have been removed! The place looks much lighter and user-friendly again.’
Fellow shoppers were excited by the checkout change and said they had noticed the same while visiting Aldi.
‘It didn’t worry me but the difference is amazing,’ one woman said and another added: ‘It does make it more open. The staff were commenting about how much of a change it was.’
‘Well I almost forgot they weren’t originally there…you just reminded me,’ a third replied.
Some said they always disliked the ‘difficult’ protectors.
‘Ours went a couple of weeks ago. They were a pain,’ someone replied.
‘When they went up it became to difficult to chat to the checkout people. I rather miss the silly banner – even just saying ‘Thank you’ became awkward,’ someone else chimed in.
A former Aldi employee said they ‘despised’ the screens even at the height of the pandemic.
‘You couldn’t hear any thing people said, and the number of smashed liquor bottles that resulted in them smacking into the screens’ they said.
‘They were pretty much useless anyway because we were touching everything the customers touched and they were then touching it again after we did.’
Aldi and many other major retailers installed the plastic screens in 2020 to curb the spread of Covid. Many found the protectors ‘annoying’ and ‘useless’
Some said the clear shields ‘never bothered’ them while others were concerned about their removal.
‘Yet Covid is still rife,’ one member wrote and a second said: ‘Let’s hope the staff stay well.’
‘It’s different but let’s hope everyone stays safe regardless,’ agreed a third.
‘Our local’s gone too. One cashier said she hates not having them any longer,’ another reported.
Covid-19 numbers have dwindled in the 12 months since the last wave however there were still 7,871 new cases reported last week in New South Wales alone, 708 more than the previous week.
An Aldi spokesperson said the decision to remove the sneeze guards came after consulting with employees.
‘Last year, we commenced consultation with all our employees to gather their input regarding the removal of sneeze guards,’ they said.
‘Following this period of consultation and consideration of feedback provided, we have made the decision to remove sneeze guards from all our stores.’