Restaurants are continuing to respond to the announcement of a B.C. vaccine passport rolling out next month and the restrictions that come with it, and some in Vernon don’t plan on checking their customers' vaccination status.
By Oct. 24, people over the age of 12 are required to show proof of their double dose of vaccination in order to enter businesses like restaurants, gyms, movie theatres, casinos and more.
Owner of Vernon restaurant The Fig, David Scarlatescu, says he will not check customers vaccination status as he doesn’t feel comfortable enforcing the vaccine card rules.
“It’s simple, I don’t feel that it is my right to judge and to enforce what people choose to put in their body or not,” said Scarlatescu.
“I want to make it clear, this is not an anti-vax situation, I’m not an anti-vaxxer, if anything I agree with the science behind vaccines and everything. I just believe that this crosses the line from guideline and restrictions to completely messing with people’s decision to choose what they do or do not put in their body.”
When The Fig posted to its Facebook page, announcing that they don’t discriminate against vaccinated or unvaccinated people and that the restaurant is a “place for everyone,” Scarlatescu said he received a lot of positive feedback.
At this point, he says it’s up to businesses how they want this situation to impact them.
“People are fatigued, frustrated and saddened to be losing, for starters on the business side, to be losing decisions on how they can operate their business and the people are losing the ability to go places and to experience services that they could before,” said Scarlatescu.
"People have forgotten what normal is, because it’s been so long.”
Another Vernon restaurant, Eatology, is also frustrated by the new restrictions.
“When we heard that unvaccinated people aren’t allowed into restaurants, movie theatres, and concerts, all those things, we just feel that it’s unfair and not equal because people can go to the grocery store whether they're vaccinated or unvaccinated,” said Eatology owner Kristina Klein.
“And restaurants, we’re working so hard, we’re following all the mandates, we’re masking up, we’re sanitizing, we built plexiglass, we’ve gone above and beyond and we just feel that it’s unfair.”
As a small business owner, Klein says "this will destroy businesses."
After the announcement, the restaurant posted to their Facebook page that "Eatology loves everyone regardless of vaccination status."