NS restaurant to close dining room in protest against province’s vaccination policy
GREENWOOD, NS – In anticipation of the planned proof of vaccine policy in Nova Scotia on October 4, some businesses in the province have already implemented their own vaccine policies for customers and staff in advance. But a restaurant in Greenwood is taking things in a different direction until then.
Elizabeth and Daniel (They requested that their last names not be used for fear of harassment outside of work), co-owners of the restaurant Fresh from the oven, let’s say if everyone can’t have dinner at their establishment, then no one will. Thus, from October 4, the restaurant will be take out and delivery only.
Nova Scotia’s upcoming Proof of Vaccination Policy states that people over 12 years of age must be fully immunized (two doses) in order to participate in certain discretionary activities, including eating inside a restaurant. For Elizabeth, this is a discriminatory policy, which is why she and Daniel will be closing their dining room.
“When we heard that on October 4, again, something was going to be implemented where society needed to be divided, I stood up because it hurt my stomach… to think I should ask to every person who walked into my restaurant… what was their state of health, ”Elizabeth says.
“It’s not for me to force them by giving them a pass so everyone can go out and get vaccinated.”
Elizabeth and Daniel are in the minority with their views on vaccine passports. According to an August poll by Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies, 76 percent of Canadians supported the policy on non-essential activities.
In September, the Halifax Chamber of Commerce found that 82% of businesses in the city supported a proof of vaccination policy for discretionary activities. House Speaker Patrick Sullivan, however, told Huddle that businesses don’t like the idea of having to follow government policy and having to ask people for their immunization status at the door.
RELATED: 82 percent of Halifax companies support proof of vaccine policy
Fresh From The Oven announced the closure of its dining room on Tuesday and the reaction was swift. Elizabeth and Daniel said it was difficult to work on Wednesday because the phone kept ringing.
Their Facebook post on the subject received 801 shares, 1,300 reactions and over 360 comments in three days.
They also put up a sign in front of the restaurant saying “WE WILL NOT PARTICIPATE IN SEGREGATION OR DISCRIMINATION”.
Elizabeth and Daniel say 90 percent of the reviews were positive. Someone even sent an wire transfer from out of province thanking them for the position they are taking. But there have also been criticisms – including accusations the owners are anti-vaccine.
Elizabeth, who is a former nurse and claims to be vaccinated herself, rejects such a label. She said she was not against the vaccine, but was against the government forcing people to get one to participate in regular events.
“I’m not anti-vaccine, and I’m not saying I’m for vaccination either,” Elizabeth said. “I don’t discriminate, I won’t discriminate. For me, it’s about people’s choices.
“We are just a small town family trying to support our community and support us at the same time,” added Daniel. “We love everyone, no matter what.”
The owners know they will likely lose a lot of money once they close the dining room. However, Elizabeth says she might be willing to change her mind if the province implements a policy of medical exemption for those who have a valid reason for not getting it.
Dr Strang said a medical exemption policy will be formulated, although details have yet to be announced.
Elizabeth and Daniel say they still believe in the effectiveness of public health measures. The restaurant will be keeping its Covid-19 tracking book in the restaurant and ordering test kits for staff who cannot get vaccinated.
“These measures have worked for us; cleaning, keeping the distance of six feet and wearing our masks, ”says Elizabeth.
“I have the barriers. I reduced the capacity of my restaurant by half to ensure the safety of my customers. I have the plotting at my door.
To read more stories like this in Huddle, sign up to receive our free daily newsletter.