Two police officers try to arrest man for not wearing a face mask while ordering a sandwich at a Subway – despite him insisting multiple times he is ‘exempt’
- Two officers confronted a man in Salford for not wearing a mask on December 5
- The man filmed the encounter and repeatedly insisted he was medically exempt
- He was scathing about one of the officers, who had a mask pulled below his nose
- Police said he would be arrested for not wearing a mask and he now faces a fine
A man has blasted two police officers who tried to arrest him for not wearing a mask in public, even though he claimed to be exempt due to asthma.
The man, known only as Elliot, filmed the confrontation with the two policemen inside a Subway shop in Salford, Greater Manchester, on December 5.
He was especially scathing about one of the officers, whose mask pulled below his nose.
The Government made face masks mandatory in shops and on public transport last week
In the video, Elliot is heard to say: ‘I’m exempt so I don’t need a mask. Mind your business.’
During the confrontation inside a Subway shop in Salford on December 5, Elliot was especially scathing about one of the officers, who had a mask pulled below his nose.
‘It’s your attitude,’ responds one of the officers. ‘What I’m going to do with you now – I’m going to ask you, are you exempt?’
‘You don’t need to worry – it’s my medical history, I’m not asking your medical history,’ he answers back.
As Elliot attempts to walk away, a second officer approaches with his mask pulled down beneath his nose.
Elliot is heard to say: ‘Look at this guy! He’s got his nose out and he’s trying to tell me to wear a mask in a subway when I’m exempt for asthma. Mind your business and let me go on my journey.’
At this point, the other officer mentions that the young man will be arrested for not wearing a mask.
Another officer took issue with Elliot’s attitude when being asked to justify why he wasn’t wearing a mask inside the shop
New rules in response to Omicron variant
In England, you must wear a face covering in shops and on public transport.
Face coverings should be worn in communal areas of universities, colleges and schools by staff, visitors and pupils or students in year 7 and above.
If you’re travelling to England from abroad you must take a PCR test before the end of day 2 following your arrival and self-isolate until you get a negative test result, even if you’re fully vaccinated.
If you’re a contact of someone who may have been infected with the Omicron variant, you must self-isolate for 10 days, regardless of your age, vaccination status or any negative test results.
Failure to wear a mask can result in a fine.
The video divided opinions when it was shared on social media, with many commentators in support of Elliot’s stance while others equally disapproved.
Elliot himself has previously shared anti-facemask views on Twitter.
Speaking after the incident, he said: ‘I was in my local Subway ordering a sandwich. When the police officer that happened to be in there at the same time as me began rudely interrupting my conversation with the subway worker.
‘After explaining I’m exempt and don’t need a mask the police officer then tried to arrest me. After a good 10 to 15 minutes of intimidating me, the police took all my personal details and said I should be expecting a charged fine for not wearing a mask.’
No arrests were ultimately made in the incident.
According to the latest Government advice: ‘In England, face coverings must now be worn in shops and shopping centres, in transport hubs and on public transport.’
A Greater Manchester Police spokesman said: ‘We are aware of footage circulating on social media which appears to show an officer engaging with a member of the public regarding the wearing a face mask.
‘From November 30, 2021, there are some places where you must wear a face covering by law, unless you are exempt. Therefore, it is reasonable to expect a police officer to make enquiries to ensure compliance with the law.
‘We will always aim to engage with the public and explain the reasons for our enquiries first, and only move to enforcement as a final option.
‘The public can and will see our officers engaging with the public on these matters as we continue to help stop the spread of this virus.’