Vaccine certification program impacting business says Windsor restaurant owner

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The owner of a Windsor restaurant feels the province's COVID-19 vaccine certification program has already impacted his business.

Nick Pontikis operates Thanasi's Olympus Greek Restaurant on Tecumseh Road East near Hall Avenue and says since the launch last week, business at his restaurant is down about 35 per cent.

"I'm pleased that people coming into the restaurant are fully vaccinated and can prove as much but the whole thing has been a disappoint for me in the sense that, I think my business has dropped about 30 to 35 since that," says Pontikis. 

He says he can't think of any other reasons why business is down except the launch of the program but says most customers understand the program is a provincial policy.

"Now as far as people giving my staff at hard time at the door, we've only had a couple," he says.  "Nobody has become abusive.  Some people have asked for my staff to show their vaccination credentials before they show theirs."

Pontikis adds some event organizers have cancelled their parties because of the vaccination program.

"I've lost a couple of small parties such as we do showers, we do baptisms, small weddings and so on, not everybody in the group is vaccinated and they're reluctant to go to a place that excludes people," says Pontikis.

The province launched its vaccine certification program on September 22 which calls on patrons to show proof of full vaccination and a piece of ID to enter settings such as restaurants, theatres and gyms.

The province said businesses and patrons who don't follow the rules could be fined.