What happened to Denmark’s supermarket checkout dividers?

The Local Denmark
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What happened to Denmark’s supermarket checkout dividers?
Supermarket checkout dividers - seen here on the left of the image - were removed at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic in Denmark and are yet to return, despite the end of national restrictions. File photo: Signe Goldmann/Ritzau Scanpix

The ‘divider’, a piece of plastic placed on the conveyer belt at Danish supermarket checkouts to separate shoppers’ goods from each other, disappeared in 2020 as a precaution against Covid-19. Will it return?


Most of the guidelines and restrictions that became part of everyday life in Denmark during the Covid-19 pandemic are now no longer effective after the country decided to bring restrictions to an end at the beginning of February.

At that time, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen announced the country’s return “to life as we knew it before corona”.

READ ALSO: Are any Covid-19 rules still in force in Denmark?

Whether life can ever entirely return to the way it was before Covid-19 is probably a topic for another (and longer) discussion. But one aspect of pre-Covid Denmark yet to come back is the humble piece of plastic which supermarket customers place next to the goods at checkouts, to make sure they don’t get mixed up with the next shopper’s wares.

Broadcaster DR reported on Monday that the separator or skilleren as it is referred to in Danish is unlikely to make a comeback any time soon.

There are “no immediate plans to let the product divider come back,” Jens Juul Nielsen, head of information with Coop, which owns the Fakta, SuperBrugsen, Kvickly and Irma chains, told DR.

That decision was made despite health authority assessments backing the end of Covid-19 restrictions.


Another supermarket executive also told DR that the plastic sign was not likely to be brought back.

“Restrictions have been lifted before and we kept (the decision to remove the divider) then, and that’s why we’re also doing this now,” Jacob Krogsgaard Nielsen, head of press communication with Salling Group, told DR.

Although there are no current plans to bring it back, no permanent decision has been made by the Coop group.

“It could well (come back) one day when we’ve forgotten all about corona,” Nielsen said.



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