Fury as taxi refuses to take sick child to A&E because dad didn’t have face mask

A taxi driver allegedly refused to take a toddler to hospital because his dad would not wear a face mask in the vehicle.

And Joseph Roberton, 25, claims that he is medically exempt from doing so.

The man, and partner Ruby Walsh had booked a taxi with firm DG Cars at 1.16am on Thursday, January 6, having noticed that their 18-month-old son Louie Robertson's face had started to swell.

The youngster's eyes had also started to run with pus

Having been told that the wait time for an ambulance would be around eight to 10 hours, and as they don't drive, they booked the taxi.

However, the father was refused entry to the car because he was not wearing a mask, Nottinghamshire Live reports.

The man, who suffers from anxiety and panic attacks – which gives him an increased heart rate – did have a sunflower lanyard with a medical exemption card on it, but the driver cancelled the ride.

Another car was sent, but the family ended up getting an Uber – and that driver had no issue with the exemption.

The boy was taken to hospital, where he was diagnosed with conjunctivitis, and given a course of antibiotics.

Mr Robertson said: “I told him I can get anxious and struggle with panic attacks by wearing a face covering, and that I need to get my son to A&E, but he still refused; I got so angry.

“I'm very surprised one guy can refuse me and my 18-month-old son, yet another can take me – I feel let down, and luckily it was only conjunctivitis and that it wasn't a whole lot worse.

“If someone out there is refusing me, it makes me question who else is being refused, as there could be someone else in a worse position that needs help."

Although facemasks are not mandatory in taxis, the vast majority of companies have issued guidance to drivers urging them to request passengers wear them.

The UK Government has also advised passengers to wear masks in private vehicle hires due to the enclosed space in the car.

And Miss Walsh added: “It made me so angry as your eyes are one of the most important parts of your body – if you do not have eyes, you are blind.

“Our heads were all over the place.

“Uber usually say about wearing a face covering, but there was nothing along those lines from DG Cars.

“If members of the public do not wear a mask, they normally put up a plastic sheet, and if the driver was that concerned, he should have put one up.”

A DG Cars spokesman said that the booked cab was declined and, as “drivers are self-employed” they are well within their rights to do so.

The company added that “no complaint” had been made about the booking, and pointed out the “extreme pressures” the industry is under due to the pandemic.

No apology was made.

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