Fishing tackle shop near Ipswich defends face mask policy


11:54 am on December 29, 2021

12:10 December 29, 2021

The owner of a fishing tackle store near Ipswich defended his mask-wearing policy after a customer left a one-star review on Google.

The buyer posted to complain after learning he couldn’t walk into the Birds Tackle tackle shop in Great Blakenham without wearing a face mask.

However, other customers have posted to Facebook in support of the store – which offers a door service for those who don’t wear masks or those who don’t want to enter the store.

Face covering is currently required by law in most indoor public places for all people over the age of 11, unless they have an exemption.

Birds Tackle fishing shop in Great Blakenham near Ipswich
– Credit: Tackle Birds

The Google examiner claimed the owner demanded he wear a mask even though he explained he was exempt.

“He continued to say he didn’t care – no mask, no sale – despite pointing out that he is breaking the law on grounds of discrimination.”

But the store’s Stacy Bird said it was non-discriminatory and had security policies in place against Covid to protect customers and staff.

He said he offered a clearly signed door service option for all customers, including those who did not wear a mask, as well as online and phone sales.

Birds Tackle fishing shop in Great Blakenham near Ipswich

Birds Tackle fishing shop in Great Blakenham near Ipswich
– Credit: Tackle Birds

“We have a responsibility to protect vulnerable customers and staff. One staff member has recovered from cancer, another has had a major heart attack, and another has other health issues, making them all very vulnerable.

“We have customers arriving who say they feel safe in our store because everyone is wearing masks.”

Mr Bird added: “Our customers have been very supportive. I would say we have 99% of people wearing masks, and we have masks that we can give to anyone who doesn’t.”

He said it was especially important to enforce the wearing of the mask at a store like Birds Tackle, where people tend to browse for a long time.

Birds also has other security policies against Covid, including disinfection stations and screens at checkouts, as well as a mist and disinfect machine for deep cleaning.

The store posted a response to Google’s review which read, “At Birds Tackle, we take government advice on wearing face masks in retail outlets seriously.

“We have a sign outside to say that if you don’t wear a mask, we can provide door service, so as not to discriminate against those who are exempt or don’t wear a mask.”

The response adds, “If we allowed customers to enter the store without masks, we would be forced to close the store and disinfect everywhere. “


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