The bookstore owner says the staff spat and verbally abused about the coronavirus rules

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A shop owner had to change the access rules to her bookstore after employees were verbally abused and spat at by customers for not following the coronavirus security rules.

Sian Ellen Cowper, who has run browsers in Porthmadog for 40 years, said that while they received massive support from the majority, some refused to wear masks and use the hand sanitizer provided.

It got so bad that they had to put a rope across the shop front and greet customers upon invitation.

Continue reading:Overcrowded carriages, people without masks and no social distancing on trains

“The lack of respect is shocking,” she told BBC Wales. “It was pretty shocking. Some people say they really forgot and that’s fine – we all forget – but a high percentage is offensive.

“There is no excuse for someone to abuse an employee. We were spat at once.

“We felt that we were opening up to an environment where the public knew what was expected of them.

“What we experienced was very different. We faced buyers, 80% of whom had to be asked to put on a mask or disinfect their hands.

“We gave up trying to monitor social distancing because of the additional abuse we received.”



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The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) announced that it had been contacted by several traders with similar examples, and earlier this year the Usdaw shopkeepers’ union conducted a UK survey and found that 88% had experienced verbal abuse, while 60% had threatened a customer. Read the experiences of a supermarket worker here.

Jo Causon of the Institute of Customer Service said they are calling for attacks on employees to be considered a stand-alone crime.

Ben Francis, Head of Political Affairs for the FSB in Wales, said: “It is extremely disappointing that employees and business owners have seen something like this.

“FSB Wales has urged people to support local businesses whenever possible, but this type of abuse should never be the result of that support.”



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