A man from Edinburgh felt “dehumanized” after he was denied access to the Apple Store for not wearing a face mask.
Martin Splatt, 35, is currently a wheelchair user and is not allowed to wear face covering according to government guidelines.
However, while shopping on August 25, he was kicked out of the Princes Street store by employees who told him they would not allow him to enter without one.
After queuing to enter the store, Martin was approached by a staff member who told him to wear a face covering.
Upon hearing this, Martin displayed both his handicapped lanyard and ScotRail card, explaining that he is exempt from wearing a face covering when traveling.
Despite all required credentials, however, he was told that the business “doesn̵
Speak with Edinburgh Live About the ordeal, Martin said:
“I’m a wheelchair user and I was trying to get a cord for my phone. I queued up normally and when I tried to go into a staff member I stopped at the door and told myself I had to wear one Protective mask.
“I’m exempt from wearing one, so I showed him the ScotRail card. I need to show why I’m not wearing one on the train and a disabled lanyard, but after they looked at it, they said I still couldn’t get in.” . ”
“Although I said I was exempt under government guidelines, they said it was a private building that I could not enter.
After leaving the Apple Store, Martin returned later that day with a face visor / shield that he believed would be enough to get inside.
Despite his best efforts, the staff turned him away again.
He added, “I then had to leave and later on the day of my return with a face visor that had been given to me I thought that would certainly be fine.
“I can’t wear a face mask as I have really trouble breathing it in, but when I came back I was told I could either wear a mask under my shield or stay outside.
“They told me the rules didn’t apply to their business, but any other store I went to on Princes Street was fine to let me in.
“It’s wrong and I felt like I wasn’t human. It’s a public shopping area and the government says I’m exempt. Why can’t I be there?”
The Edinburgh incident wasn’t the only one of its kind since the Apple Stores reopened. A family in Newcastle has had a similar experience.
Earlier this month, Jennie Dobson and daughters Ellë, 21, and Mia, 16, attended an appointment at the Metrocentre near Gateshead to get help resetting their iPhones.
Similar to Martin, Elle was exempt from wearing a mask and was also told that she was not allowed to enter the store even though she showed her handicap band.
Apple declined to comment on the Edinburgh incident. However, a copy of the face mask policy is as follows.
It states: “If a customer is unable to wear a face mask because of an existing illness or disability (or for any other reason set out in applicable law), Apple will offer appropriate alternative shopping or support options. We will:
- Serving customers at the store front
- Serve customers digitally (via phone call, chat or Apple Support App, Apple Store App or Contact Center),
- Offer customers temporary use of a face shield in the store, or
- Offer to serve customers without a mask outside of trading hours. “