Girl, 9, told to stay outside alone while mum shopped

An angry mother says insensitive Tesco employees told her nine-year-old daughter to wait outside after the coronavirus pandemic under the new supermarket shopping rules.

Wendy Whitehead claims an in-store security guard who appeared to be responsible for enforcing the rules asked her to leave her daughter out of the store in Haddington, East Lothian.

The single mother told the story Edinburgh Live: “It was after 7pm and it was a very dark and wet winter evening.

“The young man in a fluorescent Tesco coat stopped us as we entered and asked if we lived in the same household, if we needed to shop together and if I could leave my daughter outside the shop.

“I was very surprised at the time and quickly replied that I had to go shopping. My daughter was 9 years old.

“I’m a single parent, it was dark and wet outside and I wouldn’t let my child outside.”

The mother added that she wished she had addressed the problem at the time, but was shocked and simply went home after shopping.

According to the Tesco website, they require that only one person from each household come to the store to do their shopping. “This is supposed to reduce the number of people in the store at the same time and help maintain social distancing measures.”

However, these rules are not further specified when parents shop with their children.

Tesco has apologized for the incident and stated that it was a “mistake”.

A Tesco spokeswoman said: “Since the pandemic started, we have focused on making sure everyone can get the food they need in a safe environment.

“While we encourage our customers to shop on their own if possible, we understand that customers sometimes have to shop with children and are of course happy to do so.

“In this case a mistake was made and we are sorry that the customer was not satisfied with their experience.”

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