The mask requirement and the last Corona protective measures have long expired, but the acrylic glass panels will continue to be used at the checkouts in many stores. This is the result of a dpa survey of more than ten companies.

The so-called spit guard will continue to be used at Rewe, Penny, Kaufland, Aldi Nord, Bauhaus and Ikea in the future. The windows were installed in checkout areas nationwide during the pandemic to contain the spread of the virus and protect against infection.

“The plexiglass panels at the checkouts have become established as a protective measure – for our cashiers and our customers,” said a spokesman for the Rewe Group. The discs are still standard at the discounter Penny, which is part of the company. They can still be found in around three quarters of Rewe stores. However, other protective measures such as distance markings on the floor have been completely removed. There are also only a few hygiene stands left.

Bauhaus: Windows are part of the original equipment

At the discounter Aldi Nord, all checkouts in 2,200 stores nationwide are equipped with the windows. According to a spokeswoman, the “spit protection” at most checkouts at Kaufland has not yet been removed. “The plexiglass panels also offer our employees and customers protection against other infectious diseases, especially in winter.” However, each branch can decide how to use it.

It is said that the windows are still available in the 160 Bauhaus hardware stores nationwide, with exceptions. At newly opened or converted locations, they are installed as an integral part of the initial equipment. “Nothing should change that for now.” The windows are also still used in Ikea furniture stores. The company said the fundamental benefit remains regardless of the pandemic in order to protect customers and employees and increase the feeling of security. A comprehensive dismantling is not intended, but its use is optional.

“Many employees don’t find it pleasant”

However, some retailers no longer plan to provide protection. At the discounter Lidl, the windows are being dismantled step by step. Feedback from employees was also taken into account in the decision. In the DM drugstores, the transparent walls have largely been dismantled and stored, as the company announced. However, if necessary, it is possible to continue using them.

“Many employees don’t find it pleasant to work behind protective screens. They want direct contact with customers,” said a spokesman for a retailer who did not want to be named. Customers also asked why the windows were still there even after the pandemic was over.

The drugstore Rossmann and the discounter Aldi Süd did not comment when asked. Edeka simply stated that the 3,500 merchants decided independently on whether to use the discs.

The corona protective measures were gradually lifted after the infection rate had calmed down. The mask requirement in shops was abolished in most parts of Germany in April 2022. Almost a year later, almost all remaining testing and mask requirements expired. Afterwards there was only one recommendation to wear masks voluntarily.