Man attacks McDonald’s employees and smashes Covid barrier after being told to wear mask

Video of incident has been viewed over 1.7 million times on TikTok

Sravasti Dasgupta
Wednesday 03 November 2021 11:00
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An angry customer in Sydney smashed a Covid-19 barrier at a McDonald’s outlet last week after being asked by the cashier to wear a face mask.

A video of the incident has gone viral on social media. Sydney came out of over 100 days of Covid lockdown last month, but face masks are still mandatory indoors. All people in the state of New South Wales over the age of 12 are required to wear a face mask in an indoor area of premises other than a place of residence.

In the video, believed to have been filmed at the eatery on Halloween and later uploaded on TikTok, a man can be seen at a counter screaming at the cashier. While the exchange is largely incomprehensible, the cashier can be heard telling him that he is required to wear a mask.

The man was accompanied by a woman, who had a mask in her hand. The man continued to shout at the cashier and at one point, flung the mask at the cashier’s face.

The video showed another woman approaching the counter and joining in the argument. The man is then seen punching the glass barrier separating the cashier’s counter from customers, shattering it and only narrowly missing the cashier and other employees behind the counter.

The video ended with the man being dragged out of the store by his friend. It been viewed over 1.7 million times on TikTok.

McDonald’s said that it will not tolerate any anti-social behaviour towards its employees who are expected to be treated with respect.

“We are committed to providing a workplace free from harm and are taking the necessary action to support the health and safety of our people and customers at all times,” a spokesperson told news.com.au.

“We expect our people to be treated with respect. We will always do our best for our customers, but we won’t accept abuse, intimidation, threats or violence towards our employees.”

Scott Morrison’s government had one of the world’s toughest responses to the coronavirus pandemic. Australia shut its international border in March last year, barring foreign tourists as well as its own citizens from either leaving or entering the country, unless granted an exemption. It finally opened up its international borders on Monday after nearly 20 months.

Australia has fared better than many other developed economies in keeping Covid-19 numbers relatively low. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the country has recorded 173,165 coronavirus cases and 1,756 deaths. It currently has 22,918 active cases.

But despite tough restrictions, this isn’t the first time a customer has created ruckus over face mask rules in Australia.

In September, an anti-masker argued and taunted a police officer in a Woolworths store in NSW when asked to show proof that he was exempted from wearing a mask. He had filmed the interaction and posted it on TikTok but it only earned him criticism.

The previous month, a man was charged with assault and disorderly behaviour in Adelaide after he shoved a shopkeeper who had asked him to wear a face mask. In Melbourne, many protesters were seen without masks while they were demonstrating against lockdown rules in August.

In July, the owners of a store in Sydney were arrested after clashing with police and allegedly refusing to wear masks or serve customers who are wearing face coverings, according to 7 News.

Such incidents have also been common in other countries such as the US, especially in flights, restaurants and shops.

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