'No facemasks allowed': Why one Scarborough takeaway put up its sign which has caused controversy

A Scarborough takeaway whose ‘no masks allowed' sign made national headlines has explained the safety concerns behind its actions.

Thursday, 30th July 2020, 11:53 am
Updated Thursday, 30th July 2020, 12:04 pm

A spokesperson for Mama Mia’s on Seamer Road said they put up the sign in the takeaway’s window to protect staff and customers.

They believe face coverings can look intimidating and are concerned that if the shop was robbed or their staff were attacked, the culprits could not be identified if they were wearing masks.

The sign read: “No masks allowed. Masks are for hooligans, vigilantes, superheroes, criminals and asbestos workers. Remove mask before entering. Thank you.”

Mama Mia's, on Seamer Road.

A photo of it caused fierce debate when it was posted on social media and several national news outlets have reported on its display.

The takeaway has now taken down the sign.

The spokesperson said: "We’ve got a CCTV system worth £750 but it’s no good to identify anyone if you can’t see half their face.

“Some people are going around wearing masks with symbols that are affiliated to gangs.

“If you see someone with their hood up and a mask on, it’s intimidating.”

The spokesperson stressed customers are welcome to wear face coverings once their faces have been captured on CCTV.

Since Friday July 24, adults and children aged over 11 are legally required to wear face masks in shops, banks, building societies and post offices, and takeaways.

North Yorkshire Police has warned it will not be able to attend every reported incident of people not wearing masks and has urged people to report breaches of the new rule online so that they can keep their phone lines free for "urgent policing matters".

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