Kamloops restaurant owner in lose-lose situation with B.C. COVID-19 vaccine card | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

Current Conditions


Kamloops News

Kamloops restaurant owner in lose-lose situation with B.C. COVID-19 vaccine card

Alchemy Brewing Company in Kamloops is one of many small restaurants trying to adapt to new Covid-19 restrictions.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Stace DeWolf
September 13, 2021 - 1:00 PM

It seems restaurant operators have been jumping through hoops, bending over backwards, and pivoting constantly in a jerky, unfamiliar dance since the beginning of the pandemic, as COVID restrictions continue to change.

For some small, family run businesses just trying to survive has been a challenge and the introduction of the latest COVID-19 restrictions have added to the pressure.

As of today, Sept. 13, restaurant owners will require customers to show proof of receiving at least one dose of the vaccine, according to a Public Health Order. This is on top of existing orders that require restaurant staff to seat no more than six patrons at a table at a time, that customers wear masks when not seated and that all restaurant staff wear masks.

Co-owner of Alchemy Brewing Company, a restaurant and brewery in Kamloops, Shantel Renner said it is a lose-lose scenario as a restaurant owner right now. She said she has been receiving messages from customers asking whether or not she intends to follow the health order.

READ MORE: B.C. groups concerned over lack of compromise in COVID-19 vaccine card plan

“I’d like to remind everyone that the brewery is my livelihood and everything is balanced precariously right now,” Renner said. “I don’t think it’s right I’m expected to turn away many of the regulars who have supported us since we’ve been open simply because they don’t have a vaccine. I firmly think your vaccine status is your own business.”

Renner said she is tired, stressed out and saddened by the position she has been put in, one she doesn’t have clear answers for.

“If we do ask for it, people without the card can’t come in, and many with it will stay away because of a plethora of reasons,” she said. “If we don’t ask for it, people without may come in, and those with the card have clearly stated they won’t come in if the establishment is breaking the health order. If I don’t comply with the order, we can face hefty fines and they could pull our liquor licenses.”

Fast food restaurants, like McDonald's or Starbucks, and take-away-only restaurants will not be required to check customers' B.C. vaccine cards, which adds to Renner’s frustration.

READ MORE: Kelowna RCMP want to be called if anti-vaccine protesters get rowdy

"This requirement should be for the chains who have nationwide support, not the little mom and pop shops," she said. "These chains will not go under, but me? Other small business owners? Many of us very well could. We have a lot on the line."

Restaurants and bars are among the non-essential B.C. businesses where patrons will be required to provide proof of at least one COVID-19 vaccination, using a QR code mobile app that displays vaccination status. Businesses can either scan or visually verify the QR code in order to determine if a guest may enter the business. Customers must provide a photo ID that matches the name on the BC vaccine card.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Shannon Ainslie or call 250-819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above. 

News from © iNFOnews, 2021

  • Popular kelowna News
View Site in: Desktop | Mobile