A mother carrying her three-month-old in a baby carrier was denied entry into a popular store because it broke their social distancing policy.
Kat Bailey, 35, of West Bridgford, Nottinghamshire, said she was left ‘gobsmacked’ after a recent trip to Makro at The Midway in Nottingham on Tuesday.
Fitness instructor Mrs Bailey, who runs Polekat Fitness and Bunjee Fit in the city centre, couldn’t believe her baby daughter, who was strapped to her, could break such a policy.
Kat Bailey, 35, of West Bridgford, Nottinghamshire , said she was left ‘gobsmacked’ after a recent trip to Makro at The Midway in Nottingham on Tuesday when she was turned away for carrying her daughter with her
Ms Bailey was looking to collect supplies from the Makro cash and carry in Nottingham so she could make her business Covid secure
She said the rule discriminates against single mothers and those who can’t find or afford childcare.
She told Nottinghamshire Live: ‘My fitness centres have been shut since March and we were trying to get our studio Covid-secure by going to Makro.
‘They refused me entry in March when I was with my three-year-old son. It was due to social distancing and they said, at the time, “it would be different if you had a baby strapped to you”.’
‘So, I just brushed it off and there was nothing else I could so. We bought our cleaning products from a more expensive dealer and took it on the chin.
‘But when we came out of lockdown again, and we could partially open as a gym, we thought let’s do another deep clean so went to Makro again.
‘But they stopped me at the door again and said “you can’t come in with a baby”. I was gobsmacked. She is literally attached to me.
‘I asked to speak to the manager and I was just fobbed off and they repeated the same line again “that it was company policy”.’
Mrs Bailey is now calling on the company to use their common sense and understand it is difficult for parents to leave their babies behind in order to enter the store.
She added: ‘I felt it was discrimination against single parents, parents without childcare or who can’t afford it. Lots of people have lost jobs.
‘We have not made a profit this year and I can’t afford to put her in childcare. I was just trying to run my business and feed my family and they were heartless.
‘These are uncertain times, but just use some common sense. Babies are dependent and need someone to look after them at all times. I can’t leave her in the car or go out without her.’
A spokeswoman for Makro told Nottinghamshire Live: ‘The current situation has meant that we have implemented some changes in our stores.
‘We are only open to trade customers and not the general public.
‘Due to the nature of our shopping environment and the number of customers we are experiencing, children under 16 are currently not allowed into the branch and we are also asking that only two people shop per customer card.
‘We are also limiting the number of customers into our branches at any one time.
‘These are some of the measures we have introduced to ensure that we operate “social distancing” which is so crucial in maintaining the health, wellbeing and safety of our colleagues and customers in the challenging environment in which we are all working.
‘We are sorry to hear about these concerns; we are simply trying to keep everyone safe and well, while supporting the hundreds of thousands independent businesses we are serving every week, who are serving their local communities.’