(Contributed - FWSY)

(Contributed - FWSY)

Kelowna restaurant owner speaks out after customers dispute COVID-19 guidelines

Customer at FWSY! in Kelowna caused stir after mask, contact tracing guidelines enforced

A Kelowna restaurant owner is speaking out after a customer refused to follow COVID-19 guidelines, and caused a stir online.

The owner insists this is not an isolated incident, and occurs daily at restaurants around the region.

Christina Skinner, owner of Frankie We Salute You! vegetarian restaurant in Kelowna, explained that on Jan. 9 a customer arrived at her store without a face covering. The customer was offered a mask, and her information was taken down for contract tracing purposes. The customer then began to yell at a staff member, citing COVID-19 conspiracies, refused to wear the mask, and demanded her contact tracing information be removed.

READ MORE: COVID death toll in B.C. tops 1,000 as 1,475 new cases recorded over the weekend

A video posted online by the customer shows Skinner stepping in in an attempt to de-escalate the situation. Skinner is shown scratching the woman’s name out on the contact tracing list, followed by her asking the woman to leave.

“As she was leaving she screamed that she hoped I die of COVID, and that our business fails,” said Skinner.

Since then the video has gained traction online, but has since been removed.

The owner has spoken to police about the incident, and said she was told if anything like this happens again, to call 911 right away.

Skinner said this is nothing new. Since mask requirements took effect in B.C. as a part of COVID-19 public health guidelines, she said countless customers have lashed out at her staff.

“People have been so awful to my staff. It’s been really hard as an owner and general manager to see, especially when my team is so young, fresh, and hopeful.”

While she fully supports guidelines set in place by the province, Skinner believes restaurants have been singled out with more mandatory rules than other industries.

Skinner said small businesses in the city are at risk of closing for good “if people are allowed to bully owners and small businesses over something that isn’t even their choice.

She hopes society stops blaming restaurants for enforcing rules that may go against their personal beliefs.

“I’m a firm advocate in freedom of speech, and people have every right to disagree on public health policy and what they should do with their bodies. But it shouldn’t be at the expense of individuals who feel differently, and small businesses that are just trying to survive.

“In an ideal society, we need to rise above our own personal beliefs, and just understand, and be empathetic,” Skinner said.

READ MORE: Three Kelowna flights flagged for COVID-19

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: phil.mclachlan@kelownacapnews.com


 

@newspaperphil
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Just Posted

Neil Perry, current owner of Wayside - Interior BC’s largest print and marketing company. Celebrating 100 years (1921-2021) of business in Vernon, B.C. (Contributed)
PHOTOS: A century of service from Wayside in Vernon

The press and printing company, founded by Harold George Bartholomew, turns 100 in 2021

Vernon-Monashee NDP MLA Harwinder Sandhu supported a motion in the B.C. legislature for Canada to create a national Indigenous History month Monday, June 13, 2021. (Contributed)
Canada needs a national Indigenous History Month, Vernon MLA agrees

Harwinder Sandhu supports motion to recognize June as month to advance reconciliation efforts with First Nations

A for sale sign is shown in by new homes in Beckwith, Ont., just outside Ottawa, on Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Thompson-Okanagan population grew despite COVID-19: report

The Chartered Professional Accountants of BC said there are 8,462 new residents in the region

Closure of the 2900 block of 30th Avenue will allow restaurants and other businesses to extend their patios onto the street. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Green light given to downtown Vernon road closure

Single block of 30th Avenue to close over summer months to boost business

Stage one water restrictions will be back in place for some Regional District of Central Okanagan water users. (Black Press Media file)
Outdoor watering restrictions return to RDCO for the season

Customers who use water systems operated by the regional district will be affected

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

(Facebook)
New trial date set for Penticton beach attacker’s triple assault charges

May trial was delayed after Crown witnesses failed to show up

Graduating Grade 12 student Savannah Lamb has been awarded an approximate $40,000 scholarship from the Beedie Luminaries foundation. (Contributed)
Dedicated Salmon Arm student earns scholarship to pursue post-secondary education

Savannah Lamb is graduating from Salmon Arm Secondary with a $40,000 scholarship

A provided photo of the suspect. (Kelowna RCMP/Contributed)
Kelowna RCMP investigating after business robbed

An undisclosed amount of money and merchandise were taken from the business

Travel Penticton went to city council for support in increasing the tax on short-term stays to fund a convention bureau and affordable housing. (File photo)
Travel Penticton seeks to grow through increased hotel tax

The increased funds would go to creating a convention bureau and to affordable housing

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Grace (left), a caribou that was born in a maternal pen north of Revelstoke, is alive and well said the province. It appears she even has a calf. Maternity pens aim to increase caribou calf survival by protecting them from predation until they are older and less vulnerable. (Contributed)
For the first time in years, caribou numbers increasing near Revelstoke

North herd growing but south herd still concerning

Most Read