Vaccine passport prompts restaurants and bars to beef up security

Vaccine passport prompts restaurants and bars to beef up security
File Photo
A view of the outdoor patio at Spinnakers Pub in Victoria.

At Spinnakers Pub, the signs explain to customers what to expect before they even come in the door.

The pandemic has forced other changes to be made over the past year and a half including a large outdoor patio space.

Owner Paul Hadfield said it all adds up.

“We have spent somewhere in the neighbourhood of $20,000-$30,000 over the last year and a half, tried to do things that make the public feel safe and being here. And I think that’s one of the reasons we’re busy is because the public does feel safe about how we do what we do.”

Another significant change to the restaurant industry is coming on September 13.

British Columbians 12-years and older will need to show proof of at least one dose of vaccine to enter non-essential businesses, including bars and restaurants.

Boasting Vancouver Island’s largest outdoor patio space, the owner of Belleville’s Watering Hole and Diner, Rob Chyzowski, said he has no choice but to hire security, another cost to his bottom line in anticipation of the vaccine passport requirement.

“What I’m budgeting right now is between $500 to $1,000 a week.”

Chyzowski adds that he is expecting a stressful few weeks once the passports come into effect.

“We’ve had a very rough summer with the mask mandate right now,” Chyzowski said. “With adding the mask and the passport, it’s just been a tough year and our staff have been very stressed this year.”

BC’s Restaurant and Food Services Association is working with the province to assist business owners facing more expenses in light of more public orders.

President and CEO, Ian Tostenson, said the industry is bracing for additional costs associated with the vaccine passport.

Security is an issue for many businesses especially after a customer urinated in a Port Alberni fast food restaurant after staff informed him he had to follow the rules.

“The government already knows that we’re thinking about it,” Tostenson said. “I think for many small businesses that are forced into having to hire security, there should be some compensation for that.

The Association estimates it likely take several weeks for both business and customers to adapt to the new vaccine passports once the system begins.

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Mary GriffinMary Griffin

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