Local restaurant owner torn on vaccine passports

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The co-owner of a number of establishments in Windsor-Essex says he's torn on the province's vaccine passport system announcement.

Matt Komsa, co-owns the Bull & Barrel on Ouellette Avenue, along with The Goat Tap and Eatery in LaSalle and Lakeshore, and says they respect everyone's personal decision on vaccines but realizes there are some positives.

"The only upside that I kind of see to it is this eliminates the word shutdown for the foreseeable future, and they increase capacity limits and remove the mask mandates then those are some of the potential benefits I could see," says Komsa.

He believes it's going to be difficult to implement the system, something the local Chamber of Commerce warned shouldn't have to be downloaded onto businesses.

"The province is essentially telling us that 20 per cent of our customers can't come in the doors and have to eat outside," he says.  "I don't think people are going to be upset with the province, I think people are going to be upset with the individual restaurants and that's unfortunate."

Following the full details being released, Komsa says management will have to meet to start making a plan and decisions going forward, but one thing was clear.

"The word shutdown has to be removed from the government's vocabulary," says Komsa.  "Another shutdown in my opinion would just be devastating for the province, it can't happen again."

The province's plan will require people to be fully vaccinated and provide proof of their vaccination status to access certain businesses and settings beginning September 22.

- with files from AM800's Aaron Mahoney & Rob Hindi