In New Brunswick, the next few days will require a good dose of adaptation for many organizations, which will soon have to check the immunization status of their clients. Entrepreneurs interviewed by the newspaper are more resigned to their enthusiasm for this measure, the implementation of which again falls on the shoulders of merchants and their employees.
From Wednesday, it will be mandatory to provide proof of vaccination accompanied by an identity document to visit a cinema, pub, restaurant, cinema, gym, nursing home and many other venues, or even to attend a wedding, indoor sporting event, festival or funeral.
“Our employees will have to play the role of the police,” sighs Serge Nadeau, co-owner of the CAVOK brewery in Dieppe.
For him, the permissibility of vaccination is a burden added to the list of obstacles that his institution has faced since the beginning of the epidemic.
“We understand that this is necessary, but it is always up to the companies to do the work of the government. When will we be asked to verify the authenticity of the documents?”
Serge Nadeau is particularly concerned about suffering from a drop in traffic and putting his team of waitresses at risk of facing potential frustrated customers.
Nearby, the director of the Polarama bowling alley, Sandy Gallant, voiced similar concerns. The directions of the county government do not leave him a choice, it will be necessary for him to devote a full-time employee to control the entries. Two teams have already canceled their reservations. I think we’ll lose the regulars for a while,” Ms. Gallant predicts.
Kim Rayworth, general manager of the Capitol Theater in Moncton, also received two calls from clients seeking refunds for their tickets. She was not overly affected by it.
“I would be happy to resell places to people who would be willing to comply with the sanitary rules,” she said.
The theater is simply intended to encourage spectators to show up a little earlier to allow for screening.
“We’re so happy with this decision, we’ve asked the public regularly,” says Kim Rayworth.
Louis-Philippe Gauthier, regional director of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, notes that the majority of CFIB members are concerned about the risks of legal action. But Prime Minister Blaine Higgs stressed on Wednesday that companies cannot be accused of discriminatory practices if they only follow government regulations.
He also noted that entrepreneurs can turn to Opportunities NB business navigators who are responsible for answering their questions about health rules.
While the passport appears to be generally seen as the lesser of two evils to avoid further closures, Louis-Philippe Gaultier believes it could cause additional costs and exacerbate labor shortages, as employers will need to have employees on the job.
“In some cases, this will mean resetting existing staff, but in others it may require a reset, such as a 24-hour gym that now needs someone to cover the door earlier in the morning.”
He notes that in other counties where the vaccine passport has been announced, some membership-based organizations, such as gyms, are facing membership cancellation.
We hope this will not disrupt the company’s activities too much. The vaccination passport will remain valid for the sectors most affected by the epidemic. This continues to present challenges, puzzles and conversations with clients,” summarizes Mr. Gauthier.
Experience Acadian Restaurant in Montreal
In Quebec, the vaccine passport has been a reality since September 1. Richard Dunn, an Acadian from Cap Pellet, exiled in Montreal, had to conform to her like thousands of entrepreneurs. Co-owner of Drinkerie Ste-Cunégonde and Acadian Restaurant Le Fricot, considers the transition to be made fairly easily.
“In the first week, all the surrounding establishments saw a drop in traffic. But in recent days, things are slowly starting to get better. Maybe it took a while for people to get used to it or get vaccinated.”
Its two institutions in Notre Dame Street West haven’t had to deal with any struggle yet.
“Things went better than we thought, and we were afraid it would be chaotic and we would have problems with clients. We explain to them that it’s not our decision and we’re just enforcing the law. I think those who don’t want to cooperate don’t get out,” says Richard Dunn.
“We had a great summer, we can’t complain. It’s affecting our business anyway, but we’d rather do it than shut it down.”
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