Proof of vaccination: Social media video shows customer arguing with staff, other customers at B.C. restaurant

Social media video appears to show a woman arguing with staff and other customers at a B.C. restaurant about the province's proof of vaccination requirements, describing the enforcement as "tyranny."

The undated video was uploaded to TikTok Saturday night with the caption “Anti-vaxxers harassing White Spot staff.” The user says the video was captured at the Coquitlam location.

The two-minute clip shows three women, all unmasked, inside the restaurant. One woman is speaking to a staff member while holding her phone out recording. She can be heard telling a staff member that businesses are “trying to get away with this tyranny.”

Another customer then intervenes and also starts recording on her phone. She says to the woman: “If you don’t have your vaccine passport it’s time to leave.”

The woman replies: “Is this communist China?”

When asked to stop recording, the woman responds: “No, this is the evidence for when I take action against White Spot for their tyranny.”

Industry groups have long voiced concerns for front-of-house staff having to enforce the health orders requiring people to show proof of vaccination in order to dine in at restaurants. Some businesses have taken to hiring private security.

George Moschonas owns Spartan Security and says in the past 10 days he’s increased his staff from five people to 15.

“In the last, probably, 10 days, we’ve seen an increase in the demand for security at non-essential businesses such as restaurants and theatres,” Moschonas said, adding that his staff have been subject to arguments and verbal harassment.

“We’re used to being yelled at; there’s no reason for any restaurant staff to be yelled at,” he said. “I never thought in my wildest dreams that we would be at the front entrance of a restaurant asking people to prove their vaccine.”

In some instances, people have been calling 911 to deal with unruly customers. Kaila Butler, a spokesperson for the emergency dispatch company E-Comm, says there have been “a couple dozen” calls in the last week.

“Primarily the type of calls we have received are more along the lines of businesses looking to report individuals who are unwilling to provide their vaccine card or immunization records,” Butler said. “Every time that we’ve seen a new restriction or a new COVID requirement come into place, very understandably the public can be unsure about where to call, who's the best resource to reach out to. So, it is something that we were prepared for.”