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Taxi operators aren’t too worried about Vaccine Passports; restaurant owner asks “Do I look like a cop or a bouncer?”

Kevin Adams, owner of the Old Newcastle Ale House, says “It is hard enough to get staff to come in to work now. If customers start yelling at them about the Vaccine Passport, no one will ever want to come in to work.” Photo: RWN

Ontario’s September 1st announcement that Vaccine Passports will be required in some non-essential businesses as of September 22nd will leave the taxi industry largely unaffected, industry members predict.  Restaurant owners, however, are scrambling to determine how the details of the program are to be implemented.

“Anything that helps keep our taxi drivers safe is a good idea,” says Marc Andre Way, president of the Canadian Taxi Association.

Beck Taxi Operations Manager Kristine Hubbard points out “It’s only for spaces where masks aren’t worn consistently: indoor dining, gyms, etcetera.”

Some restaurant owners are less confident that the Vaccination Passport program as announced by Doug Ford will be well-received by customers.

“It’s hard enough now for people to realize they need to read even basic signage since the lockdown ended,” says Kevin Adams, owner of the Old Newcastle Ale House. Adams was on his knees posting new, additional signage on his sidewalk chalkboard when Road Warrior News spoke with him.

“People will walk right past the eye-level sign that says ‘Please wait to be seated’ into the dining room, and when my staff ask them to wait to be seated and to please wear a mask, they get upset.

“I have told my staff that with the rollout of the Vaccine Passport, ‘If a customer confronts you, call 911.’ This is not their job to deal with.”

A second restaurant owner, who requested his name not be published, asked: “Do I look like a cop? Do I look like a bouncer? This is not my business.”

Ontario’s press release indicates, “As of September 22, 2021, Ontarians will need to be fully vaccinated (two doses plus 14 days) and provide their proof of vaccination along with photo ID to access certain public settings and facilities. This approach focuses on higher-risk indoor public settings where face coverings cannot always be worn and includes:

  • Restaurants and bars (excluding outdoor patios, as well as delivery and takeout);
  • Nightclubs (including outdoor areas of the establishment);
  • Meeting and event spaces, such as banquet halls and conference/convention centres;
  • Facilities used for sports and fitness activities and personal fitness training, such as gyms, fitness and recreational facilities with the exception of youth recreational sport;
  • Sporting events;
  • Casinos, bingo halls and gaming establishments;
  • Concerts, music festivals, theatres and cinemas;
  • Strip clubs, bathhouses and sex clubs;
  • Racing venues (e.g., horse racing).”

Peter Mandronis of Peter’s Taxi in Scarborogh is not too worried the impact the Vaccine Passport will have on the Taxi drivers in his fleet, as he told Road Warrior News: “Our drivers are vaccinated, with masks and plastic shield in their cars. They are mainly focused on clients that are going to medical appointments, pick ups at hospitals and Wheel-Trans. I don’t see a big change for them with the introduction of Passports.”