COVID-19: Disturbing scene at busy Gympie shopping centre
SHOPPERS at Gympie’s biggest shopping centre were left shaken by a tense scene this afternoon when a man confessed to staff to having just returned from overeseas and ignoring the two weeks self-isolation he was supposed to be in.
An eye witness was standing in line behind the man, who she said tried to go through the checkout at Woolworths Central supermarket with a trolley full of groceries about 2.15pm.
When he informed the Woolworths employee that he had just returned from overseas, she followed protocol by refusing to serve him.
The manager was called down to sort the situation out, during which time the man was served and then asked to leave the store and not return.
The staff member then called the police.
“The employee was very upset and rang the police,” the eye witness said.
“He could have exposed 500 people. This is why this disease is spreading.
“I just think that people are not listening and now little old Gympie could be exposed.
“I was just so wild that they kept serving him.
“Everyone is saying we will end up like Italy if we don’t stop this and take it seriously.
“I’m absolutely mortified – that man could have exposed us all. I got to the car and was shaking.”
A Woolworths spokesman said the supermarkets had been “very clear with store signage that we do not want members of the community visiting our supermarkets if they’re meant to be self-isolating”.
“Earlier today our store management became aware of concerns a customer in the store wasn’t observing government self-isolation protocols after returning from overseas,” the spokesman said.
“The store manager acted quickly to verify if this information was accurate with the customer involved. The customer was subsequently asked to leave the store by security and details have now been referred to local police. The register was closed and given a thorough clean before re-opening.”
Queensland Health have also been contacted for comment.