‘Utterly deplorable’: Holidaymakers and customers condemned for abuse of Covid rules and hospitality staff
Leaders of the tourism and retails sectors in the north of Wales have condemned the behaviour of holidaymakers for shunning Welsh Covid measures and abusing workers.
Tourists are flocking to Wales this summer due to Covid restriction on international travel with a recent survey from the RAC survey suggesting 11% of holidaymakers in the UK will be heading to Wales for a summer break.
England lifted most restrictions on Monday. But masks and social distancing will remain in Wales until at least the 7th of August, which meant that some attractions had limited capacity.
Sara Jones, from the Welsh Retail Consortium, urged customers to be considerate in their dealings with shop staff and abide by store guidance.
“Regrettably, our research finds increasing levels of verbal and physical abuse directed towards retail staff, often triggered by shop-workers delivering what the state increasingly asks of them in terms of new rules and regulations,” she said. “This abuse is utterly deplorable.”
Dave Chapman, from UKHospitality Cymru, said members were witnessing “a disturbing rise in disrespectful behaviour towards their staff”.
He told the Daily Post: “Our front-facing staff are trying to adhere to Welsh Government law in a climate where there may be cross-border confusion about status and implementation, and they do not deserve such inconsiderate and unpleasant experiences in their job of work.
“We have many family businesses, community business and a lot of jobs staffed by our sons and daughters in the communities of Wales, and I would appeal for more tolerance and consideration for people just trying to help everyone have a good time in difficult circumstances.”
At the weekend, shoppers in Deeside and Pwllheli complained about large numbers of people not wearing masks in supermarkets and one Twitter user contacted Asda’s customer service department to say staff were concerned about “the influx of people” without masks.
On Monday the manager of Llandudno Pier posted a message to remind customers that restriction including wearing face mask and social distancing were still required in Wales despite all measures being scrapped in England and reported some tourists had been screaming and shouting at staff.
“It has saddened and shocked me the way my Team have been treated by some of our customers this weekend,” he said.
“One ‘so-called lady’ screamed today ‘you should hire more Staff’. Unfortunately, we are unable to hire more Staff, as no one wants to work in our industry anymore…
“Word of advice! Don’t “scream and shout” at my team… ask for the Manager! I will be happy to discuss things with you … and you won’t ‘intimidate’ me, trust me…”
Four local authorities on both sides of the Welsh-English border, Chester, Wrexham, Flintshire and Denbighshire councils also released a joint statement yesterday calling on people to respect the fact that Covid-19 restrictions are different in Wales and called on visitors to Wales to respect staff working in the tourism, hospitality and leisure industries.