Police visited the owner of a hair salon who told his staff and customers that face masks were not mandatory.
Brent Burnett claimed that coronavirus was a hoax, posting links that the virus was a conspiracy to create divisions in society and cover up the rollout of 5G.
He refused to wear a mask at Glenwood Salon in Glenrothes, Fife, despite the Scottish Government saying they are compulsory for close-contact businesses such as hairdressing.
Police officers visited the salon on July 25 after an online post from the salon which said: ‘Thank you to all our clients that have come to the salon and followed the guidelines.
‘We are going to be changing things a little. Glenwood Salon believe that masks should be voluntary and not mandatory so as of tomorrow the staff will not be wearing masks. It is entirely up to the individual if they wish to wear one.
Visit our live blog for the latest updates: Coronavirus news live
‘We will of course still be sterilising all equipment and cleaning and sanitising after every client.’
The message attracted a deluge of angry protests with more than 2,400 comments in just a few hours.
Mr Burnett’s decision was also condemned by local politicians.
Deputy Fife Provost and SNP councillor Julie Ford, whose ward the hair salon is in, branded the move ‘irresponsible and unacceptable’ and said it was ‘putting everyone at risk’.
She added: ‘The wearing of face coverings isn’t a choice, it is a legal requirement and those deliberately not complying with this law can be fined.
‘This is to protect us all personally, but also businesses, to try and prevent another lockdown.
‘For one business owner to disregard that disrespects the rest of the business community.’
A spokesperson for Police Scotland, said: ‘Local officers called at the salon and found the appropriate safety measures in place at the time.
‘Officers advised staff of the safety procedures and left as no breach had been committed.’
However, just hours later some staff and customers were seen not wearing face coverings.
One customer, who asked not to be named, said: ‘There’s been a lot of anger over the salon’s decision and I fear it’ll lose him customers but it doesn’t bother me.
‘I don’t like wearing the masks and I have no problem with staff not wearing them either.
Lisa McCann, service manager for environmental health at Fife Council, said: ‘We expect employers and operators of workplaces to act in a responsible manner, respecting both the letter and the spirit of the emergency legislation.
‘Now that this has been brought to our attention, our officers will be in touch with the salon’s owner.’
Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected]
For more stories like this, check our news page.