Blind woman exempt from wearing face mask ‘refused entry into Apple store’

A blind woman claims she was refused entry into an Apple store because she wasn't wearing a face mask, despite proving she was exempt.

Jeanette Fyfe has a visual impairment and turned up at the Trafford Centre branch on Monday to get help with her phone.

She was wearing a mask exemption sticker provided by the shopping center and carrying a mobility cane with her.

The mum-of-one claims she she tried to enter the shop for her appointment but she was told she couldn't enter if she didn't have a mask, Manchester Evening News reports.

The mum, from Sale, explained she was exempt as per the government rules, but claims staff told her this didn't matter due to Apple being 'private land'.

The 43-year-old said: "I have been registered blind since 2003 and have and assistance dog, a carer, and a mobility cane.

"I went to the Apple store in the Trafford Centre as I wanted to get some tech support for my phone because I'm not sure it is working.

"We were told to use the scanner system outside to book an appointment. I couldn't do that so my carer had to do it for me and book it on her phone."

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Jeanette claims she returned to the shop an hour later for her appointment and was told she needed to wear a 'visor' before entering the store.

"I told them I was exempt and that I don't wear visor masks because it makes my eyesight worse. I had the sticker on that the Trafford Centre gave me to prove this," she said.

"I was told that didn't matter and that the Apple store was private land and they were refusing me access unless I wore a mask.

"I asked to speak to the manager and he came out and told me exactly the same thing. I asked him to show me the policy.

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"Ten minutes later he came out and handed me a document which was just a question and answer sheet about wearing masks."

She left in 'disbelief at the arrogance of their attitude' and is upset she paid more than £1,000 for a phone that she can't use.

She claims she was told they are on private land and can do what they want, regardless of government guidance or law.

A spokesperson for the Trafford Centre told the MEN: "We’re aware of the customer’s complaint regarding the Apple store on Monday evening. Each of our brands are responsible for managing their own stores and safety policies.

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"We’re unable to comment on behalf of the retailer, but we take these matters seriously and have passed the details on to Apple to investigate.

"As per Government’s guidelines, anyone who comes into the centre will need to wear a face covering unless exempt.

"Intu Trafford Centre fully supports anyone with a physical or hidden disability and we have a number of provisions in place to support the needs of any visitor who may require additional support, including the provision of sunflower lanyards and exemption stickers.

"If any of our visitors require support one of our members of staff will always be happy to help."

Apple have been approached for comment.

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