Bosses of a Gloucester gift shop insist they are “not ashamed” of insisting everyone wears face masks, even those who are exempt from having to do so.
The 14 Gifts outlet in Eastgate Shopping Centre refused 20 people entry yesterday because they were not wearing a mask.
It has a firm policy of making sure that everyone inside the shop wears a mask to try to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
And although this led to some criticism from those who were told they could not enter the shop, other customers have rallied behind its owners – husband and wife, George and Elizabeth.
The couple, who sell fantasy and Gothic giftware at the city centre site, say that everyone entering must use hand sanitiser and wear a face mask – for the safety of customers and staff.
After that led some people to criticise them on social media, they used their shop’s Facebook page to say this today: “We take this chance again to repeat, yesterday 20 people tried to gain entry with no mask – all were exempt and all were refused.
“Now, if this were our computer, we would receive a notification from anti-virus software to tell us that 20 potential threats have been fought off. Our shop is no different.
“We are not ashamed of our stance, especially as we have so much support for what we are doing.”
One person commenting on the page said: “Stick to your guns , you’re in your rights, I’m exempt but if you were to ask me I would wear a mask as I haven’t got one off those daisy lanyards, but have something in my bag.”
And another supporter of the shop’s policy said: “Completely well said and understood and a big thank you ought to be your reward for a caring but also super shop.
“I can see where you are coming from after witnessing it AGAIN today! It is appreciated even if it doesn’t look it, I’m sure. Top class marks to you Lizzie & George!”
But not everyone is happy with the way the shop has handled the matter.
One, posting on social media, said that their daughter was deaf and relied on hearing aids and lip-reading.
They said being refused entry made her “feel like a leper”.
And another person, also posting on social media, said: “I’m not stupid either. I don’t want the virus but I think maybe they could have said to us no mask, no entry. There are ways of communicating.
“And no it wasn’t because we wanted to get our own way, we were wanting to buy a gift.
“I’m not explaining myself to anyone, all I can say is good luck to the shop with the attitude.”