Furious mum booted from store over 'daft' coronavirus rule

Penny Burfitt
·Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
·3-min read

A furious mum was turned away from a shop because of its social distancing policy - as she had her three-month-old daughter attached to her in a baby carrier.

Last week, 35-year-old mum Kat Bailey went shopping for supplies for her fitness business, her new bub Jessica along for the ride in a baby carrier strapped across her front.

Mum with baby strapped to chest social distancing UK turned away from store
Mum Kate was left 'furious' after she was turned away from shopping baby Jessica over social distancing fears. Photo: Caters

When she tried to enter her local Makro store in Nottingham in the UK however, she was told she wouldn’t be allowed in, because she and Jessica were violating social distancing rules currently in effect in England.

“I got turned away because of my baby,” the mum-of-one explains. “It is daft. I had her in a baby carrier. It is not like she was going to run away.”

Kat was preparing for a limited reopening of her two fitness studios and had been hoping to stock up on drinks, protein bars, hand sanitiser and cleaning equipment before she was barred from entering.

The business owner says she was particularly appalled given how difficult it has been for small businesses like her’s to stay afloat during the various lockdown previously and currently in effect.

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Kate was turned away as part of one supermarket's strict interpretations of the UK's lockdown laws. Photo: Getty Images
Kate was turned away as part of one supermarket's strict interpretations of the UK's lockdown laws. Photo: Getty Images

"It's so hard right now trying to run a business,” she says. “Companies don't really think about that.”

“The studio has spent the last nine months trying to keep going – we are struggling.”

She says she plans to boycott the chain of stores in light of the incident.

"I won't shop there again out of principle now, even if that means going out to the next county - Derbyshire - to buy my supplies for work,” she claims.

She says she ultimately had to leave the store and buy the products online, paying a higher price plus shipping, at an added cost to herself and the business.

Jessica baby mum caters
Kate took baby Jessica along for the shop as she had no childcare. Photo: Caters

“It was very inconvenient,” she says. “I can't imagine I was the only parent in that situation so they must have upset others.”

Makro, which has UK headquarters in Manchester, has been approached for comment.

Kat isn’t the only parent to have been left fuming by the stringent, and sometimes strange way stores are interpreting the UK’s lockdown policies.

During the first national lockdown, parents and carers reported they had been challenged when trying to shop with their children.

In an open letter penned to retailers in April, Bruce Adamson, Scotland's Children and Young People's Commissioner, said: "We ask that you request that your staff respect the diversity of families and the need for some parents and carers to bring their children for essential shopping.

"We would appreciate the assurance that you will provide guidance and training to all your staff about this. We would also welcome clear information posted at entrances to shops explaining that some parents and carers may need to be shopping with children and that customers abusing them or challenging their right to be there will not be tolerated.

"Shopping with children in any circumstances is not an easy option and at the moment, with coronavirus restrictions in place, parents and carers are even less likely to choose to take their children to the supermarket.

"No one wants to expose their children to the virus. If parents or carers are taking their children to the shops, there is likely to be a good reason."

Reporting by Caters.

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