A so-called coronavirus ‘denier’ who believes the pandemic which has cost the UK more than 45,000 lives to date is a hoax has been investigated by police after he put up a sign banning customers from wearing face masks inside his shop.
Michael Schneider, 57, placed a sign on the window of his J.Voke Vintage Tearoom in Chichester which states that any person wearing a mask – what he calls a ‘government muzzle’ – will be banned entry.
A red doormat with white footprints also instructs customers to ‘stand here until you realise your Government is brainwashing you (You May Be Here Sometime)’.
Mr Schneider alleges that the British public are ‘consenting to Government control’ by following Boris Johnson’s coronavirus restrictions, including the new draconian Rule of Six which has come into force in England today.
The tearoom owner has also admitted that he will penalise mask-wearers and charge them if they put on a face covering ‘of their own volition’.
Police are now investigating shopkeeper Mr Schneider after Chichester District Council was inundated with complaints about his sign.
Mr Schneider claims council officers has ‘threatened to shut down his shop’ if he does not take the sign down – though the Council denies making such threats.
It comes as Britain turns into a nation of narks after ministers instructed people to inform on neighbours suspected of flouting new anti-Covid rules to police.
A red doormat with white footprints at the entrance to J.Voke Vintage Tearoom in Chichester also instructs customers to ‘stand here until you realise your Government is brainwashing you’
Michael Schneider, 57, placed a sign on the window of his J.Voke Vintage Tearoom in Chichester which states that any person wearing a mask will be banned entry
The shopkeeper, who sells food, drinks and second-hand items – is now determined to keep his sign up as he ‘fundamentally believes down in my bones that human rights are being taken away’ by the Government.
Speaking to Metro, Mr Schneider said: ‘What’s happening now, where you can’t get more than six people in one place without having the police on you, that violates Article 20 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
‘I’ve had the police around, I’ve had the Council round twice and they all want me to take my poster down and I’m not going to do it because it’s the truth.’
Mr Schneider closed J.Voke Vintage Tearoom in March when the UK went into lockdown and was a recipient of Government bailout money. He reopened in June and has claimed that public reaction to his sign has been ‘very positive’.
‘When someone walks into my shop, I challenge them and say ‘How are you?’ They go ‘Very well’. I say, ‘Then why are you wearing a mask? Take it off’. They go ‘I don’t know’,’ he added.
‘I do accept people wearing a mask if I challenge them and they say it makes them feel safe. If that’s why they’re doing it, I allow them in my shop and I will serve them.
‘It’s not a complete ban, if it makes you feel better or safer, come in no problem. It’s because they’re doing it of their own volition.’ It’s been a very positive reaction.
Mr Scheider’s sign – entitled ‘Con-A-Virus Notice Government Muzzles!’ – states that people cannot shop at the tearoom if they ‘consent to Government demands’
Police are investigating shopkeeper Mr Schneider after Chichester District Council was inundated with complaints about his sign. Mr Schneider claims the Council has ‘threatened to shut down his shop’ if he does not remove the sign. The Council denies making such threats
‘My footfall has trebled since I put the poster in the window. People come in and say ‘Thank god there’s someone else who believes it’s all nonsense’.’
A Chichester Council spokesperson said: ‘As a council, we have received some complaints about the face covering signage at J Voke Vintage Tearoom.
‘We have passed these on to Sussex Police, as the agency responsible for face covering guidance, so that they can investigate this.’
A spokesman from Sussex Police said the proprietor of J.Voke Vintage Tearoom assured a city PCSO he wouldn’t refuse entry to anybody wearing a face mask when the sign came to their attention in July.
He added: ‘He was neither asked nor directed to remove the poster and we are not aware of any complaints from the public.’
Mr Scheider’s sign – entitled ‘Con-A-Virus Notice Government Muzzles!’ – states that people cannot shop at the tearoom if they ‘consent to Government demands’.
Mr Scheider’s policy appears to be proving unpopular with unhappy locals who accuse the shopkeeper of spreading ‘misinformation’ on Google reviews
It then sarcastically lists the demands – ‘suppressing your immune system’, ‘reducing your oxygen intake’, ‘raising your cortisol level (stress hormone)’, ‘breathing back in your own carbon dioxide and bacteria (that your body is trying to expel)’.
However, Mr Scheider’s policy appears to be proving unpopular with unhappy locals who accuse the shopkeeper of spreading ‘misinformation’.
Customers posting Google reviews rounded on Mr Schneider, with one saying: ‘Should be ashamed of yourselves spreading misinformation and causing a threat to your locals!’ Another simply said: ‘Enjoy your bankruptcy. Wear a mask.’
One customer posted: ‘Disinformation advising people not to be “muzzled”‘.
A fourth commented: ‘I see even their mindset is geared towards the olden times even when it comes down to safety’.
Mr Schneider has vowed to fight authorities to keep up his sign, saying: ‘I was happy to open again but everyone is now so scared, they don’t want to shop. They want it all online, they don’t leave their houses.
It’s an abomination. More people die on road traffic accidents than they do with Covid-19. What is the justification to bring the whole economy to its knees?’