A shop owner in Hull has defended herself after her shop was branded the 'UK's most unwelcoming shop' on Twitter.
Maria Burke runs North Cave News in Hull and, as you can see from the photo below, has made it clear that she expects customers to wear a mask when inside to mitigate the likelihood of spreading Covid-19.
From official-looking signs to more home-made pleas, there are nine different signs imploring people to make sure they're wearing face protection on entering the shop.
However, 'freedom' campaigner Andrew Allison took to Twitter recently to mock Maria's attempts to keep her shop Covid-secure.
"Is this the most unwelcoming shop in the UK?" he tweeted.
"And they are willing to discriminate against the medically exempt. Welcome to the UK. There are times when I don't recognise my country."
He attached a photo of the door of North Cave News which, alongside the warning notices, also has two baby's dummies attached, with a note saying: "If you want to argue and kick off please save your breath, I've heard it all. But please feel free to take one of these."
Speaking to Hull Daily Mail, Maria says she just wants to keep her elderly customers safe during the pandemic, but has received terrible abuse as a result.
"Honestly, if you'd heard what I have been called," she said.
"We have put ourselves out and tried to keep open and ourselves safe and open for the locals, and we get criticisms like this. I am really upset."
A member of staff called Sandra added: "She hasn't had a day off since last February. When supermarkets couldn't get stuff, she was getting things for people to make sure they had what they needed. For somebody to say that... they obviously have an issue."
Maria said that she's had verbal abuse and even people throwing items from the shop at her after being challenge to wear a mask.
She explained: "I've had people coming in and saying they can't wear one and then pulling one out of their pocket, or builders who claim they have asthma, and then pull their t-shirt over their faces - what's the difference? I have asthma and I wear one.
"I've had a guy saying he will get someone to come and get me because he didn't want to put a mask on, a woman said she was sending someone to rob me.
"I've had people throw stuff off the shelves, a bolt thrown at my door. It has been like this since the start of the pandemic.
"It is all passers-by who are going through the village, not the locals."
Maria added: "People come to us because they feel safe coming in here. This is a largely elderly population who shop here and we are just trying to keep them, ourselves and our staff safe.
"We need to keep looking after each other. It's selfishness otherwise, people might have someone vulnerable at home that they're protecting."
Featured Image Credit: Hull Live
Topics: UK News
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