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Although Sainsbury’s stores in England have been encouraging customers to keep wearing masks since the country’s so-called Freedom Day, the company decided to scrap its plastic screens. These screens were put in place at the beginning of the pandemic between self-checkout tills to keep customers safe.
Sainsbury’s could re-introduce plastic screens to stores following customer criticism.
Shoppers have expressed their disappointment with the supermarket for getting rid of the screens on July 19.
From this date, the company started to remove the plastic screens from its branches across the UK.
This was despite continuing to urge customers to wear masks on entry to a Sainsbury’s store.
At the time, the supermarket posted on Twitter: “From today, wearing a face covering is now a personal choice in England.
“For the safety of our colleagues and customers, please continue to wear a face covering if you can.
“Thanks for your continued support and understanding.”
Sainsbury’s also kept the Perspex screens in place between members of staff and customers at regular tills.
However, it made the decision to scrap the screens that used to separate shoppers at its self-service checkouts.
Since then, the supermarket has come under fire for this move on social media.
One person commented: “Was it really necessary to remove screens at checkouts so soon? No longer feel safe in store.”
Another customer wrote: “I really do not understand your logic in removing screens at self-service checkouts but keeping them between staff and customers. Have you thought through the implications of the messaging this gives your customers?”
One shopper said: “Sainsbury’s I was extremely disappointed to get to the self-checkout today to find all of the screens gone. Why? Case numbers are high and many aren’t wearing masks. I prefer you, but I will jump ship if another store offers better customer protection!”
Another person wrote: “Dear @sainsburys, I’ve appreciated your stores and your deliveries especially during the pandemic. But between this and removing screens at self-checkout, I think I’ll have to go elsewhere.”
One customer tweeted: “I don’t get why @sainsburys have removed the plastic screening in their supermarkets? I’d really hoped not having someone stood on top of me at the self-checkout was going to be permanent.”
Another person added: “You’ve kept screens between checkout and customers but not for self-checkout which helps protect customers from each other. Why remove those screens? Please explain.”
Sainsbury’s decision is different to that of Tesco, Asda, and Aldi.
These supermarkets still have their protective screens between self-service tills in place.
However, Sainsbury’s may bring back this safety measure because of the number of complaints it has received in recent weeks and days.
A Sainsbury’s spokesperson confirmed: “Safety remains our highest priority and we’re closely monitoring colleague and customer feedback on the updates we recently made to measures in stores in England.”
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