A feisty verbal exchange between a worker in a Meath hotel and a customer who was refusing to wear a face mask has gone viral on social media.
In the video footage, lasting 2mins and 40secs, that has emerged on Facebook a staff member, from the Headfort Arms hotel in Kells can clearly be seen confronting a woman who has entered the premises without wearing a face mask.
Initially, the woman, speaking with what appears to be a slight Geordie accent, says ‘You are being very hostile’ to which the staff member rep ‘We are trying to do our job here if you’re not wearing a mask please leave.’
The woman then claims she is exempt from wearing a mask and the worker asks her to show her documentation to prove this.
Guidelines on the HSE website state, under the heading, Exemption Letters;
‘Some workplaces or schools may ask for a medical certificate. But in general, you do not need to ask for a letter from a GP about your reason for not wearing a face covering’.
As the confrontation escalates the hotel worker is asked for her second name and confirms it is Griffin, and demands, ‘What gives you the right to video me, put away your camera, and leave the hotel.’
The footage concludes with the woman saying, ‘My lawyer will be in touch’ and as she turns to leave she is told ‘I can’t wait to hear from him.’
Meath Live approached the Garda press office for clarification on the law around the wearing of masks and was directed to the following statement on the garda.ie website.
Members of the public must wear a face covering in the following instances unless they have a reasonable excuse:
- on public transport;
- in certain premises (‘Certain premises’ includes shops, shopping centres, libraries, cinemas, theatres, concert halls, bingo halls, museums, nail salons, hairdressers, tattoo and piercing studios, travel agents, laundries, dry cleaners, bookmakers, train stations and bus stations.);
- in small public service vehicles (This refers to the obligation of the taxi driver to take all reasonable steps to ensure people wear a face covering in taxis.);
- a worker in a relevant premises (This refers to the obligation for workers in shops to wear face coverings.);
- a responsible person in a relevant premises (This refers to the obligation for the manager/owner/occupier to wear a face covering if they are involved in the preparation or service of food and/or beverages for consumption on the premises.).
There appears to be no mention of hotel customers in the statement.
The Headfort Arms have been contacted for a response