Pub covid passports ‘ridiculous’ and ‘discriminatory’ say Peterborough pub bosses

Prime Minster Boris Johnson’s suggestion that covid “vaccine passports” could be introduced for use in pubs and restaurants has not gone down well in Peterborough.

Thursday, 25th March 2021, 12:30 pm
Paul Smyth at the Queens Head, Nassington.
Paul Smyth at the Queens Head, Nassington.

The PM spoke yesterday about the possibiltity of vaccine certification, though its use and enforcement “may be” at the discretion of business owners, he said.  
There has been widespread condemnation of the idea. “This is another poorly judged comment by the PM to cause confusion and consternation within the hospitality industry and people who enjoy socialising,” said Paul Smyth, who owns the Queens Head at Nassington, a pub with restaurant and rooms just outside Peterborough

“The concept is discriminatory against the younger age groups who would not have had the vaccine and those who decide for whatever reason, some medical and some ideological, they wouldn’t have it.

“Licensees should be allowed to decide for themselves what policy they want to have in their business. Let us decide what is best for our businesses. If a customer doesn’t want to come to the pub because of the virus then they have a right not to come. Equally people who want to go out have a right to do so.

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“We were told the vaccine is the way to beat the virus, protect the vulnerable and by extension protect the NHS. If that was true, and with over 50% of adults already vaccinated, no vaccine certificates are required.

“My pub will not be asking for certificates or proof. We will continue to use social distancing, sanitiser, PPE etc and advocate personal responsibility for people to have an enjoyable and safe experience in the pub.”  
 Darren Peachey, whose Venture Pub Company leases a number of pubs across the city desctibed the notion as a joke.

He says he won’t be opening many of his pubs due to the constraints of relying on the weather and also the increased staffing costs.

“Any investment in gazebos, outside heating etc. will not be returned by opening on April 12,” he says. “The majority of our pubs will open in May with a hope that by June we can start to return to a pub atmosphere that we all know and love.

“The vaccine passport suggestion is a joke. We won’t be asking anyone to produce one, just like every other pub in the country won’t be asking you.

“If they made it mandatory then that is a different story, but there is no way that they can police that rule and therefore they will not make it mandatory. It is a ridiculous notion to even be discussing.”

He added: “Until June, we need to stick to the rules that were set last year when customers inside the pub had to be seated and had their drinks brought to them. Masks when you get up and leave your table. Come June we can relax the rules and everyone can finally start to move freely.”