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Woman left disgusted after elderly couple are turned away at Lynn supermarket

todayJanuary 15, 2021 4

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A Gaywood woman has called for clarification from supermarkets on shopping rules after seeing an elderly couple turned away from Tesco.

Ali Vertigan, 37, was left flabbergasted and disgusted after watching the couple refused entry at the Gaywood store on the grounds that they were unable to produce a medical exemption certificate.

She has called on supermarket chiefs to make the rules more clear and concise, as well as making themselves more flexible when it comes to the elderly, people with carers and single parents.

Tesco in Gaywood.. (43968657)
Tesco in Gaywood.. (43968657)

Mrs Vertigan said: “Not one shoe fits all in this pandemic and there are people from all walks of life in different situations.

“You have got people out there who are trying to play the system and there are others who are being discriminated because they are trying to do their shopping.

“I don’t disagree with the rules and restrictions that have been brought into place during the lockdown, but we have always been told and encouraged to look after the elderly.”

Mrs Vertigan could only watch on in horror as the elderly couple were denied entry.

“I couldn’t believe what I was seeing,” she said.

“The couple both had full face visors on, but the security guard was adamant that he wouldn’t let them in together unless they produced a medical exemption certificate.

“It’s absolutely crazy. The man didn’t want to leave his wife in case she became ill or leave her in the car either. I was disgusted with the behaviour and attitude of the security guard concerned.”

Mrs Vertigan, who suffers from epilepsy, is currently forced to shop on her own because she doesn’t have a medical exemption certificate.

“I’m still waiting for my certificate to come through,” she explained.

“It’s difficult to get an appointment with the doctors to write you a letter in the pandemic, so what if this was the case with the elderly couple?

“It doesn’t say anything about medical exemption proof in the Tesco policy so I just don’t understand why they were refused entry on these grounds.”

After being informed of the incident, a Tesco spokesperson said: “Since the start of the pandemic, we have focused on ensuring everyone can get the food they need in a safe environment.

“To protect our customers and colleagues, we won’t let anyone into our stores who is not wearing a face covering, unless they are exempt in line with Government guidance.

“We are also asking our customers to shop alone, unless they’re a carer or with children.”

The coronavirus pandemic has had a huge impact on how shoppers buy things, with all UK supermarkets introducing new shopping rules and restrictions on a regular basis.

Tesco, like the majority of other supermarkets, is still encouraging people to shop on their own while some stores are prioritising access for elderly and vulnerable customers between 9am and 10am every Wednesday and Sunday.

But Mrs Vertigan believes this should be extended to more days to avoid incidents like the one she witnessed earlier this week.

“They should put it in place for the elderly more regularly,” she said.

“Let the NHS staff, the elderly, their partners or carers in first every day. This whole pandemic has been about protecting and looking after the elderly so that shouldn’t change now.”

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