Fife hair salon owner reveals abuse after asking clients to take lateral flow test

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A hair salon owner in Fife has revealed the backlash his staff got after he asked clients to take lateral flow tests before attending for appointments.

John Baillie posted his response in a video message on the business’ Facebook where he said some of the responses “verged on the abusive.”Mr Baillie owns Lime Salon, which has outlets in Dunfermline and Inverkeithing. He also opened in Falkirk’s Princes Street in 2017.

The backlash came after he emailed clients asking them to complete a lateral flow test before coming to the salon.

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While many were supportive and understanding, he said some were on the verge of abusive and threatened to cancel.

Picture Michael Gillen.Picture Michael Gillen.
Picture Michael Gillen.
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He said: “It seemed to really touch a nerve with some people though, people started messaging even my staff directly to tell them how much they disagreed.

“It’s not usually my style to post in frustration, but I was wound up because my hairdressers were getting grief over a polite email.”

Mr Baillie posted a video message to deal head-on with the fall-out - and why he took the move in a bid to keep his staff and clients safe as cases of the new omicron variant start to spread in the district.

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“We have never asked anyone to show their vaccine status - I’m not interested.

“We have never asked people who do not wear masks to show proof of exemption.

“All we are asking clients to do is take a lateral flow test - we are not even asking for proof or to see it, but simply to do it so we can keep them and my staff safe and get the Christmas they all want.

“If that makes me a disgusting, terrible person then maybe wee are not the salon for you.”

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Mr Baillie said: “I think they just don’t understand the impact.

“On Christmas Eve last year four staff had to walk out because they had been pinged as a close-contact of someone who had tested positive.

“I want to keep my family safe, my staff safe, and my clients safe.”

Comments on his video have all been supportive.

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