Furious bottle shop bust-up over manager's face mask rule

·3-min read

A woman who allegedly hassled shop staff after they refused to serve her for not wearing a mask – as per the store policy – has been caught on CCTV.

In footage shown on the 2GB website from a bottle shop in northwest Sydney, the woman is seen walking in and picking up five bottles of wine before taking them to the counter. 

However, when she reached the cashier she was told by the young man working behind the counter that they can't serve her without a mask on, a strict rule that is outlined in a sign out the front of the store.

The woman waved her 'exemption' at the employees who still didn't serve her. Source: 2GB
The woman waved her 'exemption' at the employees who still didn't serve her. Source: 2GB

She then appears to confront another employee who looks to be the store manager, furiously pulling out a piece of paper she claims was a mask exemption, but the man still refused to serve her, taking the bottles of wine back on to the shop floor.

Store policy refuses service to anyone without a mask – but offers alternative

The employees appear to ask the woman to leave after she refused to put on a mask, a policy which was outlined in a sign outside the store.

In the CCTV footage, she's seen storming up to the store manager, arguing with him before he presumably points to the door and she leaves. 

On the Ray Hadley Morning Show on 2GB, Mr Hadley read out the sign the bottle shop had put out the front for customers to read, where it explains they won't accept exemptions to not wearing a mask but have provided options so people can still shop.

"We require all to wear a mask while on our premises. We have spare/new masks in case you've lost yours or left it at home, just ask at the entrance door and we'll bring one for you to wear," Mr Hadley read out on air.

"We do not accept any exemptions or excuses for customers not wearing a mask while in our store. So please don't enter our business without wearing a mask."

The store had alternative purchasing methods in place for those not wishing to wear a mask, providing a number customers could call for staff members to bring the alcohol to their car if they can't shop in-store, adding the EFTPOS machine could be brought out to them or they could pay in cash,

"Please don't be aggressive with the staff should you have any problems with this. They're just following the NSW government rules and my store policy. The decision has been made for the sake of the community."

Face masks are mandatory in NSW

According to the NSW government website, an individual's entry to a premise can be refused if they are not wearing a mask.

"It is a matter for the occupier of each premise to exercise judgment on what is appropriate for their premises and for the well-being of their staff and customers," the website says.

What are the face mask exemptions?

There are a number of exemptions under the public health order where some are not required to wear a face mask.

The NSW Government states you are exempt if you have a physical or mental health illness or condition, or disability, that makes wearing a mask unsuitable.

If you cannot wear a face mask you must carry either a medical certificate, a statutory declaration or a letter signed by either a registered health practitioner or a registered NDIS provider.

Those who fail to wear a face mask without a lawful reason risk being slapped with a $200 fine.

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