'Pubs are about enjoyment and escapism not to be reminded of tyrannical rules' - Wakefield and Castleford landlords have their say on vaccine passports plans

Wakefield landlords say plans for vaccine passports in pubs will be difficult to enforce and don't plan to take part.

Friday, 26th March 2021, 2:47 pm
Updated Friday, 26th March 2021, 2:51 pm
Rob Needham at the Market Tap

Earlier this week Prime Minister Boris Johnson said it was possible people would have to show a "vaccine passport" to have a drink at a pub.

It was not clear if this would be optional or compulsory. The Prime Minister said a system could be introduced after everyone in the country had been offered the vaccine.

But most landlords the Express spoke to said it would make their work even harder, though there was some support for the idea.

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Rob Needham, landlord at the Market Tap in Castleford, said: "Well it’s illegal for starters under data protection and the human rights act to name just two acts, so can’t see it happening.

"Can’t see any independents enforcing this rule after been given a raw deal throughout this whole process.

"We won’t be asking anyone put it that way. In fact with hospitality being proven a safe environment time and time again I don’t see why it comes to hospitality to enforce this when non essential and essential shops don’t have to despite been proven to be higher risk.

"Hospitality is about enjoyment and escapism, not to be reminded of rise of tyrannical rules and law."

Shaun Slater from the Black Rock in Wakefield said: "I don't see how they will enforce it. Last year we werent allowed to contest the proof of non mask wearers. Anyone could download a exemption form.

"People were selling fake lanyards in town. Will off licenses and supermarkets selling alcohol be ruled or just the hospitality trade again?

"And what would happen if any of the staff havent had the jab. Would they be forced to lay them off? Come May or July the younger end still won't be vaccinated."

Alex McHale, owner of Maud's Cafe in Pontefract said: "I saw the news this morning and just thought to myself ‘hasn’t the hospitality sector been through enough already?’.

"We abide by the same social distancing rules that everyone else does plus my bar is cleaned from top to bottom every day.

"Each table and menu are cleaned as each customer comes and goes, fresh cutlery and napkins etc.

"You don’t see that kind of attention to sanitisation and cleanliness anywhere else other than hospitals and GP surgeries!

"If people want to come to my bar, they feel safe enough to do so. Why should they have to prove anything to me?

"On a financial side note, are the government going to subsidise me for the extra staff I’m going to need to meet, greet and check documents? I very much doubt it.

"I say let people get on with it. It’s my job to ensure that people are enjoying themselves in a safe manner and I will ensure all Covid rules and followed to the letter until I am told otherwise."

But Harry's Bar landlady Louise Waters had more sympathy with the idea.

She said: "It’s tough really because everyone has a right no matter what side of the coin your on - I’m up for vaccine passports personally I think they’re a good idea.

"If it gives people a sense of confidence and safety then why not.

"As for the pub - who knows we will see what pans out over the next couple of weeks, I think the majority would be happy to go with it if it were a necessity - people don’t want to get ill but they also don’t want to put their lives on hold any longer so if that’s what it takes then I’d go with it. "