It has been two weeks since the legal requirement to wear a face mask in public places ended.
The Press and Journal’s Food and Drink Team published results of a survey last week that showed a lot of shoppers in the north-east had started to drop their face masks while out shopping.
Out of the 100 shoppers we surveyed at seven different supermarkets in Aberdeen, only one store saw more than 50% of its shoppers wear face masks. The rest highlighted that shoppers were favouring not wearing masks.
Heading out at lunchtime yesterday, we went to find out if things had changed two weeks on since the changes on face masks were introduced.
We counted 100 individuals from the moment we got inside the shop to the moment we left. Each person was counted individually.
The results don’t include staff members of any of the stores and are based on shoppers alone.
And while the legal requirement has changed, the Scottish government and health experts are still advising people to continue to wear face masks voluntarily in indoor crowded spaces and on public transport.
Our reader poll results from last week also showed that of the 317 people who voted in our poll, 187 (58.99%) were still wearing a face mask in the supermarket.
116 (36.59%) were not wearing their masks any more and only 14 (4.42%) wore theirs sometimes.
Asda – Garthdee
At Asda in Garthdee, less people were spotted wearing face masks this week than last.
Nine people were counted wearing masks while 91 were spotted without. This is compared to 26 with and 74 without last week.
Like last week, shoppers were flying in and out of the busy shop, with 100 shoppers heading in and out of the shop in minutes.
This store was the one that boasted the least shoppers wearing masks last week.
Sainsbury’s – Garthdee
Sainsbury’s has also changed quite a lot this week, with 19 people wearing face masks and 71 not.
In comparison to last week, this has changed from 41 of the 100 people counted wearing masks while shopping and 59 not.
Again, this store was incredibly busy.
Lidl – Lang Stracht
Lidl on the Lang Stracht was a different story. This store was much quieter than the other bigger supermarkets.
Last week, out of the individuals entering the store, 41 were wearing masks while 59 were not.
This week, however, 24 were wearing masks and those not wearing masks had increased to 76.
Tesco – Lang Stracht
Tesco, also on Lang Stracht, followed in Asda’s shoes with 10 people wearing masks when surveyed and 90 not.
This is a big difference from the 36 people who were spotted wearing masks and 64 who weren’t previously.
One shopper, who wasn’t wearing a face mask, mentioned how much they were enjoying their “new-found freedom”.
And another commented that their face was “no longer sweaty” from their mask.
Marks & Spencer – Bon Accord Centre
Andy’s first stop was Marks & Spencer in the Bon Accord centre.
The lunchtime rush was in full effect as local office workers nipped in and out of the food hall for sandwiches or a bit of shopping.
Last week, the mask count at Markies was 58 to 42 in favour of no masks. This week, maskless shoppers outweighed those with masks by 76 to 24, suggesting that as the weeks wear on, people are becoming less cautious.
Asked if she had noticed a change, one maskless shopper said more people seemed to be ditching face coverings. “Everyone seems OK with it now,” the shopper added.
Aldi – Kittybrewster
Next up for Andy was Aldi in the west of the city, which last week was the only shop with more masks than no masks.
This week, the shop was firmly in the no-mask camp – of the 100 shoppers, 80 were maskless.
It is the biggest swing of the week, and suggests that in some supermarkets people are becoming more used to not reaching for the mask when going out to shop.
Morrisons – King Street
The final stop was Morrisons, where the statistics were relatively unchanged from the week before.
Seven days ago, 71 out of 100 people were maskless, with shoppers saying that it was a relief not to have to wear a covering anymore.
This week, 78 of the 100 shoppers were maskless. One passerby that stopped to talk said he no longer noticed masks in the store.