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Vaccination passports get mixed response from Vernon businesses

Majority surveyed by Chamber of Commerce support proof of vaccination
At least one downtown Vernon restaurant, The Fig, has stated that it will not discriminate against vaccination status, despite the latest provincial health order to come in effect Sept. 13. (The Fig Facebook post)

Some are risking their own livelihoods against vaccination passports while other local businesses are applauding the latest provincial health mandate.

Vernon and area businesses are showing diverse opinions over upcoming requirements for individuals to prove vaccination.

A few have publicly stated that they will defy the B.C. government plans and will not ask customers to provide proof.

But a survey shows a majority, 65 per cent, support proof of vaccination, according to the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce.

Of those members who responded, which included those in sectors mandated to confirm vaccine passports and those not included in the public health order, 32 per cent do not support it.

Most members, 39 per cent, said that the proof of vaccination will not have any affect on their business, while 32 per cent said it will have a positive affect and 20 per cent said it would be negative to their business.

Not all respondents answered every question.

“Some believe this measure will help increase vaccination rates and reduce COVID cases, while others are concerned that reviewing vaccine passports will increase workload and potentially create conflict with customers,” said chamber general manager Dan Proulx.

READ MORE: Vaccine bookings triple days after B.C. vaccine card announced

“There was also a third group who support proof of vaccination but expect that there will be a negative impact on their ability to operate as a business.”

As of Sept. 13, people will be required to be partially vaccinated with at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to access certain businesses and events and as of Oct. 24, people will be required to be fully immunized, at least seven days after receiving two doses of vaccine, to access the same list of businesses and events.

The settings where proof of vaccine will be required include:

• indoor and patio dining

• night clubs and casinos

• movie theatres

• indoor ticketed sporting events

• indoor concerts

• indoor theatre/dance/symphony events

• fitness centres/gyms

• indoor high-intensity group exercise

• organized indoor events (weddings, conferences, workshops, etc.)

• discretionary organized indoor group recreational classes and activities)

“We will share our survey results with Vernon-Monashee MLA Harwinder Sandhu and we urge the provincial government to directly support those sectors that must verify proof of vaccine as revenue streams may be disrupted initially and additional staff resources may be required,” said Proulx.

“The chamber also wants to remind residents and visitors to be patient and understanding when entering a business that is mandated to ask for your vaccination card. Business owners and their staff are our friends, neighbours and family and we need to be respectful towards them.”

Downtown Vernon restaurant The Fig has stated that it will not be “discriminating” against those who are unvaccinated.

“Our customers have kept us open and in business through all of this, not you,” the 30th Avenue bistro said in a social media post tagging Premier John Horgan.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health says proof of vaccination requirements will apply to all restaurants in B.C., for indoor dining and outdoor patios.

“We expect all relevant businesses to comply with public health orders, and the province will be engaging with them over the next several weeks to support them with this work,” senior public affairs officer Marielle Tousni told the Morning Star.

“If individuals or businesses do not comply, there are enforcement measures, such as closure, that can be considered.”

READ MORE: Asking businesses to enforce vaccine card is too much, says South Shuswap Chamber


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Jennifer Smith

About the Author: Jennifer Smith

20-year-Morning Star veteran
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