Leeds Costa customers using fake names to evade Covid Track and Trace app says worker

Gemma Ryles, aged xGemma Ryles, aged x
Gemma Ryles, aged x
A Costa Coffee worker in Leeds says customers have been giving false names and avoiding using Track and Trace - because they don't trust the app or they think Covid is a 'hoax'.

Gemma Ryles, aged 20, from Leeds, works at two branches of Costa, in Leeds and Bradford.

-> Will Leeds go into Tier 3? This is what we know so far She has written about her experience for the Yorkshire Evening Post, below:

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"I’ve been working at Costa in Leeds and Bradford for two months now, and a worrying amount of people refuse to do the track and trace.

Gemma Ryles, aged 20, has spoken about customers and Track and TraceGemma Ryles, aged 20, has spoken about customers and Track and Trace
Gemma Ryles, aged 20, has spoken about customers and Track and Trace

"The policy in our store is that if a person wants to stay in, they must do the track and trace, whether that be using the QR code on their phones, or writing their name, number, and the duration of their stay on the back of their receipt.

"If someone doesn’t want to, all we ask is that they have their order as takeout, as it’s a legal requirement to do the track and trace if you’re going to stay in the shop.

"As staff, we can ask people to do the track and trace, but we can’t enforce it.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"As a result, I’ve noticed that a lot of people lie about doing it, by pretending to scan the codes or not properly filling out the information so that it won’t work.

"Another common occurrence is people will outright refuse at first, but then reluctantly write their information down after they’re told they won’t be able to sit in.

"However, I’ve heard many times people be referred to by different names to the ones they write down, with some people even openly saying that they lied when they think no staff are around.

-> 15 of the best coffee shops in Leeds for Coffee Week 2020"Plus, in many instances, if you attempt to confront someone about the fact that they’ve lied, they can get aggressive and it’s not something that people should have to deal with when they’re trying to do their job.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"A lot of customers are also very open about their distrust, with many customers loudly claiming that they don’t believe in coronavirus, or that they think this is merely a way for the government to keep track of everyone.

"Thankfully, a lot of people will enthusiastically do the track and trace without me even needing to prompt them, but when you serve an average of 1,500 people a day, and around one in every 10 people refuse to participate, those numbers add up.

"The problem with this behaviour isn’t just that it’s dangerous, but you can see it impacting the other people in the store, and I’ve seen on multiple occasions customers not engage with the track and trace because they’ve noticed that someone else has ‘gotten away’ with not doing it.

"It’s also genuinely worrying that so many people believe that the coronavirus isn’t real, or that it’s just a scam for the government to track you.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"It makes a mockery of not only all of the people whose lives have been impacted by the virus but also of all of the people who are trying to keep everyone safe, like the people working on the front line.

"In this climate, we must band together and do everything we can to try and stop the spreading of the virus, but that won’t happen if people are refusing to help each other and openly trying to discourage others from helping.

"And it shouldn’t be hospitality workers that are forced to try and bridge the gap.

"I have managed to convince some people that they should do the track and trace, however for the hundreds of people a day who lie or even leave the shop without ordering because they won’t, more needs to be done to educate people on why it’s important, and there needs to be stricter rules for those who refuse."

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.