News 19 June 2021

Thorpe Park customers compare new mask rule to being forced to sit at the back of the bus

19 June 2021
Thorpe Park

Thorpe Park has been subject to criticism this weekend after a customer complained that mask exempt guests were being made to sit at the back of rides and rollercoasters.

In a now viral tweet, one customer complained that her daughter was not allowed to sit at the front of the ride.

She wrote, “WHAT YOU THINK OF THIS- My 18 year old at Thorpe park today, mask exempt- had to ride at the back of the rides! Didn’t something similar happen years back on buses?!

“Segregation of non masked at Thorpe Park. Disgusting SHAME ON YOU!

“Disgusting treatment. I literally can’t believe the discrimination, nor that people think this is ok and the ‘logic’ of mask makes any sense. I’m so sad and angry for my kids growing up being treated like this.”

Referencing Rosa Parks and the civil rights movement, the tweet sparked debate with some agreeing with the disgruntled mum and others upset by the comparison of the mask exemption issue to historic racial discrimination.

One user said: “I genuinely can’t believe you’ve made a Rosa Parks comparison here. Utterly utterly mental.”

Another added: “Not you comparing something so trivial to actual racial oppression!!”

In contrast, one said: “It’s about time people raged at this. But why has it taken a over year to happen?! They’ve been doing this without challenge since last year. It’s disgusting. Also it isn’t only thorpe, but Alton Towers also do this disgusting act of segregating disability people.”

In response, a representative for Thorpe Park said in a tweet, “Hi Natasha, in line with our ride restrictions, all our guests who are mask exempt are required to sit in the row farthest to the back to reduce the risk of air transmission aboard our attractions. If you do wish to discuss further, please pop us a DM.”

In a statement, the theme park said, “Thorpe Park Resort is committed to ensuring that all guests are able to safely enjoy visits to our attraction and we pride ourselves on making the health and safety of our guests our number one priority.

“Those guests who are exempt from wearing a mask are still able to ride all of our rides, but as a reasonable adjustment and part of our additional health and safety measures, we ask those guests to be batched towards the back of our rides in order to reduce the risk of air contamination.

“Other batching or seating arrangements that guests may also see is where we have reduced capacity and batching to maintain social distancing that can include empty seats or rows and where possible, grouping within household units.”

The park reopened last summer after being closed due to the ongoing covid-19 imposed lockdown.

(Image Credit: Wikimedia)