STAFF at a number of Toowoomba businesses say they have been abused by customers over coronavirus restrictions.

Grand Central clothing store manager Maddie Williamson said a customer had maliciously coughed on her last week.

"He was in store coughing and not covering his mouth and when I told him I had to clean the area and he went off at me," Ms Williamson said. "He proceeded to walk behind me coughing at me and laughing.

"I told him I would call security and as he was leaving he pushed all our stock off the table."

Grand Central workers (from left) Peta Buttfield, Sam Sweeney and Maddie Williamson have been left disgusted by the behaviour of some customers while enforcing regulations and restrictions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic, Thursday, May 21, 2020. Picture: Kevin Farmer
Grand Central workers (from left) Peta Buttfield, Sam Sweeney and Maddie Williamson have been left disgusted by the behaviour of some customers while enforcing regulations and restrictions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic, Thursday, May 21, 2020. Picture: Kevin Farmer

Grand Central cafe owner Peta Buttfield said she had had a staff member in tears every day due to rude and impatient customers.

"It's breaking my heart and hurting my soul. There's too much abuse going on," Ms Buttfield said.

"I've had a staff in tears every day, but we're trying to keep them motivated and happy."

Ms Buttfield said people had complained about having to give their details when dining in at the cafe and having to wait 10 minutes for a table.

"People are used to a certain way of how they used to do things, but things have changed and they're not happy with that," she said.

"Because we're only allowed 10 customers in store it's posed a great problem for the people of Toowoomba.

"They want their coffee and eggs benny but don't want to wait 10 minutes for a table."

Shoe store manager Sam Sweeney said she had had a panic attack and been left in tears due to rude customers.

"They're (the restrictions) implemented by the government," she said. "So don't have a go at us for doing what we legally have to do."

In a post on Facebook, 7 Springs Health and Dental said they had had two staff members maliciously coughed on in the past week.

In Queensland people who deliberately cough, sneeze or spit on workers including shop assistants could be fined up to $13,345.


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