Sidney restaurant that still checks vaccination passports receives support from customers – Saanich News


A Sidney entrepreneur said his restaurant will continue to check vaccination passports.

“I’m just going to watch the news,” said Bill Singer, who owns and operates the Rumrunner Pub in Sidney, adding later that he would judge the situation on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. “I was actually hoping, from a personal perspective, that they would keep the vaccination mandates until late spring… I thought they would give everyone more time to break the cycle of l herd immunity and they didn’t, but I understand why.”

While proof of vaccination requirements for restaurant entry ended on April 8, Singer said he made his decision weeks earlier.

“I’m not doing this because I’m trying to be demanding about it,” he said. “I just took a position that I thought others would take too…And Bonnie Henry, when she came out, said we had a choice.”

Singer said he was uncomfortable with COVID-19 trendlines. “My first thought (after the announcement about the vaccine passports) was that the numbers will go up. It won’t be as easy as everyone thinks.

As a business owner for over 30 years, Singer said he just wants to end COVID-19 like everyone else. “Everyone suffers from fatigue, including me,” he said. “In the restaurant business, you just want to open your door and take care of your customers.”

But customer feedback, along with discussions with wife Jane Margetts Singer, led to personal reflection and the eventual decision to keep the vaccine passport in place at his facility, a decision also shaped by the older demographics of Sydney.

“I know some of them have personal issues,” he said. “Some of them have already expressed their discomfort and I said, ‘Well, I’m going to keep it for a while, not realizing I was going to be the only one in Greater Victoria as far as I can to understand. I hope I’m not.

This decision was also approved by his staff following discussions.

This unique status has made Singer, who does not describe himself as a dogmatic person, and his company an immediate target of improper language in print.

“It was huge, but maybe some of them were robots,” he said.

These digital attacks coexisted with analog attacks.

“My wife was sworn in,” he said. “We saw people come out of our house when they saw what we were doing. They turn around and walk away. And I knew it could happen.

But with that, Singer also received what he described as a “huge outpouring of support” from people in Greater Victoria and beyond, and other sources, including the provincial association representing the catering industry.

He even saw some of the restaurant’s busiest days since last summer.

“I just felt I had this to come out and explain why I’m doing it. It’s a community thing, I have an older clientele. I’ve been here 32 years and wanted my clients to feel that I took care of them.

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