A sign posted in a shopfront window has raised eyebrows amid the coronavirus pandemic after it warned customers to “remove your mask or raise both hands high”.
The sign scribbled on cardboard was spotted at the entrance to a metal-cutting shop in Kentwood, Michigan in the US and warned customers they could be mistaken as a potential criminal if they wore a face mask inside the store.
“In responce [sic] to Gretch, attention: This facility is protected by armed employees for your safety! Remove your mask or raise both hands high and keep um up! Don’t be mistaken as a robber! Thank you, management. Open carry still welcome,” the sign reads.
The sign references Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s order mandating businesses turn away customers who don’t wear face masks, which came into effect on July 13.
Several other states and individual stores across the US have introduced the same policy, as well as in Victorian city, Melbourne to in an attempt to stop the recent rapid increase of coronavirus cases.
Mandatory face mask policies have become a sensitive subject for Americans with social media flooded with examples of customers losing their temper when refused service by businesses that require customers to wear masks.
One Walmart customer in Florida recently pulled a gun and threatened to kill another shopper when confronted about not wearing a mask.
President Donald Trump made headlines when he refused to wear a mask during a visit to Michigan, telling media he believed it made him appear weak and he didn’t want to give them the pleasure of photographing him wearing one.
The President has only recently been seen wearing a mask in public once while visiting a military hospital.
Owner says note ‘meant to be a joke’
Owner of the store, Andy Tubergen told US outlet The Sentinel the sign was meant as a joke and customers are welcome to wear masks in the shop to help prevent what he described as “a flu strain”.
“A coping mechanism of mine is to giggle daily,” Mr Tubergen said.
He added that while customers are welcome to wear masks, he will not enforce mask wearing for customers or employees.
“I feel sorry for people that find things like this offensive,” he said.
“Those are the same people who find Elmer Fudd’s shotgun offensive. Lighten up.”
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