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Supermarket sweep: How many Aberdeen shoppers are wearing face masks a month after restrictions were lifted?

A woman wearing a face mask in a supermarket.
Although it is no longer a legal requirement to wear a mask, health experts advise wearing one in crowded indoor spaces.

It has been a month since the legal restrictions around wearing face masks were lifted.

For the past month, The Food and Drink Team has been assessing how many shoppers across Aberdeen have been wearing face masks vs how many have ditched them altogether.

The first week after restrictions lifted we found that many shoppers were still wearing masks, however, from the second week, we found that the number of shoppers at certain supermarkets not wearing their masks had significantly decreased.

Face masks in Aberdeen supermarkets

In our final instalment of this miniseries, Karla Sinclair and I have been out to seven of the city’s biggest and busiest supermarkets to find out if much has changed in the past two weeks since we last shared any data.

We visited all of the supermarkets around lunchtime and counted 100 shoppers in total, as we had done previously.

A month ago at the start of this research we ran a poll asking if people were still wearing face masks. Of the 324 votes, 191 (58.95%) said yes while 118 (36.42%) said no. 15 of the votes (4.63%) indicated they sometimes wore them and sometimes didn’t.

Shoppers in the supermarket. Photo credit: Xinhua/Shutterstock

In week two we asked our readers the same question.

123 votes (61.19%) said yes to still wearing a face mask out of the 201 individuals who took part, while 61 votes (30.35%) said no. There was a slight increase in those who sometimes wear them with 17 votes (8.46%) saying so.

However, week four has seen another shift. While there are still individuals wearing masks, the numbers have dipped again, showing there has been a clear trend during the research.


Asda – Garthdee

Similar to the previous trips, Asda was heaving with shoppers at lunchtime.

I counted 11 people with masks and 89 without this time. This result was more similar to week two’s results which saw nine individuals wearing them in comparison to 26 in week one.

Asda at Garthdee.

Sainsbury’s – Garthdee

At Sainsbury’s it was just as busy and things had changed massively from a month ago.
This week 15 were spotted with and 85 were without.

In week one 41 were wearing masks while shopping and 59 were not and in week two it had changed quite a bit with 19 people wearing face masks and 71 not.

Sainsbury’s at Garthdee.

Marks & Spencer – Bon Accord Centre

In the city centre less people were wearing masks, too. This week 22 people were wearing masks while 78 were not.

In week one the mask count at Markies was 58 to 42 in favour of no masks and week two saw maskless shoppers outweigh those with masks by 76 to 24.

Marks & Spencer in Aberdeen city centre.

Lidl – Lang Stracht

Lang Stracht proved hectic with shoppers at around noon, particularly at Lidl.

Out of 100 people I counted entering the store, as many as 91 left their face masks at home this time around, while nine were wearing them.

This was a significant difference from my previous visit which saw 59 people with masks and 41 without.

Lidl at Langstracht.

Tesco – Lang Stracht

Tesco wasn’t short of shoppers either.

And another similarity I quickly picked up on was that far more customers were heading inside maskless.

I counted 18 people with masks, while 82 were without.

Tesco at Langstracht.

Aldi – Kittybrewster

When it came to Aldi in Kittybrewster, the results matched that of Lidl. There were 91 people without masks and nine with.

This was another rise from the results we collated last time around when 80 shoppers were in the no-mask camp.

Aldi at Cornhill Shopping Arcade.

Morrisons – King Street

To round off the day, Karla made the short drive through the city centre to Morrisons for her final pitstop.

Two weeks ago, 78 of the 100 shoppers were maskless.

This time around, she counted 13 people with masks and 87 without.

Masked were out of fashion at Morrisons on King Street.

According to our data only two stores saw an increase of shoppers wearing masks in the past two weeks and that was Tesco and Aldi.

All of the other stores have continued to see a decline in mask wearers, with all stores experiencing a huge drop from week one to week two.


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