The National Retail Association (NRA) has reaffirmed that being forced to wear a mask in a shop is not a human rights problem, after a Melbourne customer filmed herself threatening to sue Bunnings for demanding that she wear a face cover.
Masks in metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire were made mandatory last week as coronavirus cases soared. Both people in hotspots will need to wear a mask if they leave their homes to curtail the disease’s spread.
Despite the government’s order, a bare-faced shopper in the south-east of Melbourne threatened to sue Bunnings staff for ‘violating their rights’ after being asked to give her a face mask during the weekend.
“You are not authorised to ask me or question me about it,” she told a female staff member, who directed her to a manager.
“You’re discriminating against me,” the woman said in footage uploaded online.
The manager interrupted her and said: “It’s a condition of entry of our store”.
The woman was later captured as she appeared to be held arguing with police and screaming “this is unlawful.” It’s believed the same woman at Australia Post filmed a similar exchange.
NRA CEO Dominique Lamb, reported Bunnings, and other outlets are well entitled to deny entry to clients who do not meet the mask mandate.
“Human rights have nothing to do with being asked to wear a mask. At this time it is about safety, consumer safety and retail worker safety,” she told Today.“What they’re asking you to do is comply with a direction that has come from the government and that particular direction can be enforced by police within Victoria.
“They have to keep their other workers and other consumers safe.”
Victoria Police is also issuing $200 on-the-spot fines to anyone inside Melbourne and Mitchell Shire who does not wear face coverings.