Shop staff coughed on, sworn at and attacked over new rules

Shop staff say that have been coughed on, called names, sworn at and attacked since new coroanvirus rules were brought in.

Workers in stores across Merseyside have reported that while they are trying to protect customers, shoppers have turned on them.

Responding to an ECHO survey over whether abuse on retail workers was getting worse after the beginning of the pandemic readers described some of the incidents they have witnessed and experienced.

It has been months since panic buying started back in March, but this is when problems started to become really bad for staff.

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One person said that staff in a Home Bargains store in Skelmersdale were verbally abused by a customer who didn't want to queue outside the store.

Another reader said that they were in a shop when a customer was asked to step back and also became abusive.

People wear face masks as they shop in Liverpool

They added that another person became abusive when they were told that customer toilets were not available.

A woman said: "I am a shopworker. and people still don't get the social distance thing.

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"I have been called a c**t, a s**g and been told to f**k off."

Another person said they witnessed a shop worker in Walton being spat at after telling customers to wear face coverings.

They added: "A worker in a shop on County Road, that I use regularly, told two guys they had to wear masks or face coverings.

Some shoppers have become abusive after being told to queue or socially distance

"They refused and one spat at the worker and made fun of him for following regulations."

A number of customers said they have seen other shoppers become extremely racist when asked to follow the rules.

One worker said that the abuse they had received during lockdown had badly affected their mental health.

She added: "I am a shop worker. I get spoken to aggressively on a daily basis and management don't care, they only care about profits.

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"This has badly affected my mental health."

Conditions and safety measures are still in place at shops to keep people safe.

Many stores have strict rules around wearing masks, social distancing and how many people they can allow inside at a time.

It is not yet clear when these measures will be lifted but staff are asking customers to be respectful and kind when shopping.