A West Lothian woman has been angered after visiting an Edinburgh Costa establishment where she claimed coronavirus protocols implemented by the Scottish Government were not being followed.
Sharon, 48, from West Lothian, was in the capital for a car-related appointment when she stopped at the Costa Coffee chain’s Hermiston Gait location.
Speaking to Edinburgh Live, Sharon said: “I came in for a coffee and a small pastry while waiting for my car to return, and from the start it wasn’t a great experience.
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“There was no hand sanitiser anywhere in the store, and although I always carry my own, I’m sure it’s a necessity for every store to have hygiene points as well.
“I was served by a woman at the counter who asked me if I was seated, to which I said yes and noticed that her mask was under her nose. I left it because she was behind plexiglass, but I also noted that.
“I then took my food and sat at a table away from everyone, but not far from two workers who appeared to be on a break.
“One of the workers came and told me as soon as I sat down, that I couldn’t sit there due to the covid rules.
“I understood this and asked where I could sit as a lot of the chairs had been tied together by cables for some reason? Like, I know there’s a social distancing rule in place, but surely tying six or seven tables together isn’t necessary?
“I was then approached by the person who served me, who abruptly told me that all she could do was either refund me or put my drink in a takeaway cup. She still wasn’t carrying his mask correctly, as did the other two workers.
“I asked why and she just said ‘Well it’s covid, we don’t have any other seating?’ which struck me as ironic given the dire lack of other covid protocols.
“I told her that, and she just shrugged and didn’t move her mask an inch, so I just told her to leave it and I’d go and do my business somewhere else.
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“I understand masks can be uncomfortable and annoying, but they’re there for a reason, and the lack of hand sanitizer is also concerning.
“It’s just the level of inconsistency of the protocols in place in the store, and I was made to feel like an absolute criminal for sitting down.”
In response to Sharon’s complaint which she sent to the customer service team, Costa sincerely apologized and noted that they had forwarded the comments to the regional manager.
A Costa Coffee spokesperson said: “The safety of our customers and team members is our number one priority.
“Our stores continue to operate in accordance with Scottish Government guidelines, including hand sanitizer stations, enhanced cleaning processes and the implementation of social distancing – meaning stores may have capacity scaled down.
“We apologize for the inconvenience caused.”