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Shopper says Apple store ‘made him wear mask’ despite medical condition

PUBLISHED: 08:30 16 September 2020 | UPDATED: 10:37 16 September 2020

Jonathan Baker from Norwich carries a face mask exemption card but despite this he said he was made to wear one in the Apple Store in Chapelfield. Byline: Sonya Duncan (C) Archant 2020

Jonathan Baker from Norwich carries a face mask exemption card but despite this he said he was made to wear one in the Apple Store in Chapelfield. Byline: Sonya Duncan (C) Archant 2020

Archant 2020

A shopper said he was made to put on a face mask in Norwich’s Apple store despite showing his medical exemption card.

Jonathan Baker. Pic: Jonathan BakerJonathan Baker. Pic: Jonathan Baker

Jonathan Baker, 47, from Cannell Green, Norwich, has a card issued by his GP stating he doesn’t have to wear a face covering. He suffers from stress and anxiety problems and has been using the card to shop for the past seven weeks.

But on going to the Apple store in Chapelfield to purchase a new iPad, Mr Baker said he was stopped at the entrance and told he could not go in without putting on one of the store’s own face masks.

Eventually he agreed because he wanted to buy a new Ipad costing more than £350 but straight after complained to Chapelfield’s customer services manager who spoke to him just outside the store after the incident.

Mr Baker's medical examption card. Pic: suppliedMr Baker's medical examption card. Pic: supplied

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He said: “I was given the card because I get upset and stressed very easily and I can’t breathe. I was on my own and it really upset me, they weren’t very nice about it and even though I said the government had brought in the cards, they said they didn’t care and Apple was a private shop.

“They gave me a mask and told me I had to put it right over my nose and mouth and squeeze it tight.”

Mr Baker's medical exemption card. Pic: suppliedMr Baker's medical exemption card. Pic: supplied

Mr Baker said he had no complaints with the Chapelfield centre which allowed him to shop without wearing a face covering when showing his exemption card and he’d not had any problems in any other stores.

Sheridan Smith, marketing manager at Chapelfield, said: “Anyone visiting intu Chapelfield, whether to work or shop, must wear a face covering when entering and walking around the malls. Anyone not wearing one could be refused entry to the centre or asked to leave. There are some exceptions, these being children under 11, people with disabilities or those with breathing difficulties.”

This newspaper contacted Apple for a comment. No one was available but on its website, Apple states its policy is that it will offer ‘reaonable alternative shopping or support options’ for customers who are exempt from wearing a face mask.

Jonathan Baker from Norwich carries a face mask exemption card but despite this he said he was made to wear one in the Apple Store in Chapelfield. Byline: Sonya Duncan (C) Archant 2020Jonathan Baker from Norwich carries a face mask exemption card but despite this he said he was made to wear one in the Apple Store in Chapelfield. Byline: Sonya Duncan (C) Archant 2020

“If a customer is unable to wear a face mask due to an existing medical condition or disability (or for any other reason as set out within the relevant legislation), Apple will offer reasonable alternative shopping or support options. We will serve customers at the store front, serve customers digitally (via call, chat, or Apple Support App, Apple Store App, or contact centres), offer customers temporary use of a face shield while in store, or offer to serve customers without a mask outside of trading hours.”

It comes after an EasyJet passenger with lung damage was recently made to exit a plane for not wearing a face mask as staff allegedly refused to accept his medical exemption card.


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