Last Updated on August 6, 2020
A restaurant in Yorkshire, England has stirred controversy after posting a sign on the entrance to their establishment denouncing face masks and their users.
The Mama Mia pizza restaurant and takeaway in the coastal town of Scarborough made headlines with its “no masks allowed” policy at a time when social distancing to prevent resurgences of coronavirus infection rates has inculcated a sense of fear into many.
In spite of the recent Black Lives Matter protests, flouting social distancing, images of so-called “COVID-19 Compliance Officers” have circulated the internet. One such officer was captured failing to adhere to social distancing in an amusing image.
However, despite recent antics, the local takeaway posted:
“NO MASKS ALLOWED
“Masks are for:
“REMOVE MASK BEFORE ENTERING.”
Following mounting pressure from the public, the establishment quickly removed the sign as shocked social media users condemned them for believing that they were above the government.
One tweeter wrote: “LOVE THIS! Mama [M]ia’s pizzeria in Scarborough, England. This is amazing. Unfortunately the ratings on trip advisor have plummeted due to the anti-oxygen mask wearers. Leave a 5 star in support.”
Mama Mia’s Pizza and Kebab takeaway, in Scarborough, displayed the sign which read in bold letters ‘no masks allowed’, advising customers to ‘remove mask before entering’.
The sign read: ‘Masks are for hooligans, vigilantes, superheroes, criminals and asbestos workers’.
— Leo Chen (@leochenxm) July 30, 2020
On Trip Advisor, one disgruntled customer commented, “Can’t comment on the food as we were not welcomed in. They refused entry to masked people. Strange attitude towards health, glad we were not welcome as it makes you wonder what other [HSE] guidelines they dont [sic] agree with.”
A second added “Like all sensible people we wore masks. Only to read a notice saying we was not welcome. Terrible if they think protecting yourself and others is a bad idea. Could not taste the food. Plenty of people walking away.”
“Thankyou for not trying to force me to wear a mask, I was free to enter and relaxed to enjoy my lovely food,” said another.
Due to the controversial nature of the short-lived policy, the restaurant’s ratings on social media tanked as cautious would-be customers flooded the restaurant with poor reviews.
The decision polarized debate with some messages being supportive of the eatery’s bold measure–days after the UK government decided to make the use of face masks mandatory in shops, supermarkets, and other public places. Restaurants and bars were made exempt from the requirement.