31 Mar 2020

Woman deliberately coughs on supermarket staff amid Covid-19 outbreak

11:28 am on 31 March 2020

A woman who was denied entry to a Dunedin supermarket responded by coughing on staff and abusing them.

Queues at Mt Wellington Countdown on the 28th of March

File photo. Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

Police say such behaviour is unacceptable given the Covid-19 outbreak.

Supermarkets in the city and around the country have introduced safety measures, such as limiting the number of shoppers in store and offering protective equipment and hand sanitiser, during the level-four nationwide lockdown.

Senior Sergeant Craig Dinnissen said the 32-year-old woman was denied entry to a supermarket yesterday.

  • If you have symptoms of the coronavirus, call the NZ Covid-19 Healthline on 0800 358 5453 (+64 9 358 5453 for international SIMs) or call your GP - don't show up at a medical centre

"She became upset and coughed on staff before becoming verbally abusive and filming staff," he said.

"She left in a vehicle and was stopped by police on the northern highway. [She was] trespassed and given a warning for disorderly behaviour," Dinnissen said.

"This type of behaviour is unacceptable and puts others at risk, causes stress and anxiety."

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