The owner of a popular nail bar in Dublin said her team were "virus shamed" after the business temporarily closed over COVID-19 concerns.
Tropical Popical, often famed as Saoirse Ronan's favourite nail bar, closed on Sunday and Tuesday last week after a relative of a member of staff tested positive for the virus.
The business said it made an "overly cautious decision to close" and did not open until the employee, who was not in direct contact with her family, tested negative.
Under the current regulations, the business was not required to shut.
Speaking with Andrea Gilligan on Lunchtime Live, the owner of Tropical Popical, Andrea Horan, said there was a stigma associated with contracting COVID-19.
She said that the salon takes every precaution over preventing the spread of the virus, including masks, screens and sanitiser and they decided to close "for the headspace of staff".
When she decided to not open the salon on Sunday, Ms Horan said her customers were "really supportive" and thought she was doing the right thing.
Ms Horan said they made the decision not to publically post about the closure as they didn't want to "breed hysteria".
She said: "As a business owner, you do think when people hear there's an outbreak in your business...it does send people's sensitivity alarm bells ringing.
"Then, consciously or subconsciously, people want to avoid that place.
"In the meantime, some of our staff started getting what I am saying is shamed, they weren't being harassed."
Rona rumours being spread about businesses trying to do their best to ensure as safe a working environment as possible is dangerous. It would have been easier for us to open and not lose money, not have to contact all of our clients and not have to reschedule all of those appts
— Tropical Popical (@TropicalPopical) September 3, 2020
However, the messages were naming certain people who had COVID.
She added: "It does feel like a bullying tactic.
"Also, it just shows you there is a stigma around COVID.
"Shaming someone for getting sick, there's no moral high ground for not getting sick.
"There is a stigma, there is a shame with testing positive for COVID.
Ms Horan said she felt "anxiety" as a business owner over closing, but also worry over being the topic of gossip.
She said: "We could have opened as per regulations...financially we were losing out for sure.
"At the end of the day making the right decision with the safety of staff and customers in mind is always going to be the right one for me."