Windsor restaurant owner calling vaccine passport rollout 'stupid & outrageous'


The owner of a Windsor restaurant is concerned with the vaccine passport rollout.

Nick Pontikis runs Thanasi's Olympus Greek Restaurant on Tecumseh Road East near Hall Avenue.

He says he supports some kind of passport system but feels the current guidelines puts the onus and a lot of pressure on business owners.

Pontikis says he's not sure how he's going to handle the rollout next week and is wondering if he needs to hire someone dedicated to only checking IDs and vaccination status. 

"I'm all for some kind of evidence but is it up to us, it is up to businesses to individually confront customers and say yes you can't come in, it's outrageous," says Pontikis.   

He feels it's not far for businesses to confront customers.

"I've had three generations of customers since 1981 come through my restaurant, am I going to tell grandpa who brought his kid, who's now bringing his kid that you can't come in because you're anti-vaxx or you just simply don't want to produce the evidence," Pontikis said.     

He says his restaurant has seen an uptick in business the last couple of weeks.

Pontikis says some guests told him they won't be returning when the vaccination passport policy goes into effect.

"They know once this new rule comes in, they won't be back at the restaurant until it's lifted," he says. 

As heard on AM800 news on Tuesday, the province unveiled its guidelines for the vaccine certification program.

Starting Wednesday next week, patrons will need to show proof of full vaccination and a piece of ID to enter settings that include restaurants, theatres and gyms.

The province said businesses and patrons who don't follow the rules could be fined and added enforcement officers are visiting businesses this week to discuss the system's requirements, which apply to patrons but not venue workers.