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Woman 'ejected from Sainsbury’s by police for refusing to wear a face mask'

Ross McGuinness
·2-min read

Watch: Woman ‘ejected from Sainsbury’s for not wearing mask’

A woman has been ejected from a Sainsbury’s supermarket for not wearing a face mask, it has been reported.

Video footage published by KentLive shows the shopper being asked to leave the store in Dartford on Saturday because she was not wearing a face covering, the website reported.

In the clip, a male and a female police officer escort the woman from the Sainsbury’s branch after she refused to show them proof she was exempt from wearing a face mask.

NEWCASTLE-UNDER-LYME, ENGLAND - JANUARY 12: A man walks past a face covering sign while shopping in Sainsburys on January 12, 2021 in Newcastle-Under-Lyme, England. In response to government ministers voicing concerns about the public's behaviour in supermarkets, Sainsbury's and Morrisons have both announced they will be enforcing rules on mask-wearing in their stores. The daily admissions to hospitals of coronavirus cases  has topped 4000 and the current number of patients in hospital with the virus is 32,294. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)
Sainsbury's has made mask-wearing in its stores compulsory. (Getty)

Last week, a government minister said all supermarkets should ban shoppers who do not wear face masks.

Stores such as Tesco, Asda, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s said those without masks would be asked to leave their stores unless they are exempt.

Read more: What you can and can't do under current lockdown rules

Such exemptions include for children under the age of 11, people who cannot wear a mask because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability.

Last week, British retailers called on police to help enforce COVID-19 mask rules.

Two men were fined for not wearing masks at an Aldi supermarket in Merseyside last Thursday.

In the clip posted by KentLive, the woman asks the two officers if they are doctors and says they cannot ask her to show proof of her “disability”.

She tries to show them a piece of paper she says has details of the law on face masks, but one of the officers says they do not need to see something she has printed out at home.

The police tell the shopper the store manager does not want to serve her, before they usher her out of the front doors.

Read more:
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The woman asks the officers for their badge numbers before she leaves and they oblige.

The woman appeared to have made her Twitter account private after she posted the video online.

A spokeswoman for Kent Police told Yahoo News UK: “At 10.55am on Saturday, 16 January, 2021, Kent Police was called to Sainsbury’s in Dartford to assist staff, who had asked a man and a woman to leave due to them not wearing a face mask.

“Officers attended and spoke to the couple, who were then escorted from the shop. No further action will be taken.”

According to the government’s advice, people must wear face masks in shops and supermarkets in England.

However, it also states that those with an age, health or disability reason for not wearing a face covering “do not routinely need to show any written evidence of this”.

Watch: Supermarkets clamp down on mask rules