Visually impaired woman turned away from Sheffield Sainsbury’s over single shopper policy

A visually impaired woman has told how she was turned away from Sainsbury’s in Sheffield after trying to enter with her mother.

Tuesday, 19th January 2021, 8:56 am

Emma Glossop visited the store on The Moor in Sheffield city centre on Monday, January 18, with her mum Kathleen, on whom she depends for help with her shopping due to her disability.

She says they were quizzed by staff at the entrance, who wanted to know why they were attempting to enter together given the supermarket is asking customers to shop alone wherever possible during the latest lockdown.

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Emma Glossop is partially sighted and finds it hard to shop without her mother's support

When the 38-year-old said they lived in separate houses she claims she was told they could not shop together and she was not given the chance to explain that they were in a bubble, as permitted under the latest Covid rules, and that she relied upon her mother’s help when shopping.

“I’m partially sighted and my mum has a heart condition so we’ve always done our shopping together so we can help each other out if needed,” said Emma, who is registered disabled.

"We go to Sainsbury’s together every week but this morning they told us we couldn’t go in together and we didn’t even get to explain about our circumstances.

"They told us they’d been instructed not to let two people in together but they were letting couples in together.

"I was so upset about what happened and although I was able to go to another shop across the street on my own I wasn’t able to get half the things I wanted.

"We understand there’s a pandemic on and we’ve always adhered to the rules.”

Supermarkets have introduced stricter rules during the latest lockdown, amid soaring infection rates and huge demand on hospitals.

Staff at many of the big names are now challenging shoppers who do not wear a mask and have no exemption, while customers are also being asked to shop alone.

A Sainsbury’s spokeswoman said: “Safety is our highest priority and we’re asking everyone to shop alone where possible so that we can serve our customers as quickly and safely as possible.

"We understand this may not always be possible and ask customers to let a colleague know if they are exempt. We hope to welcome Emma back in store soon.”