'My children see it': Pub boss blasts vile online abuse over vax stance
- Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021
A Norwich landlord who has suffered hundreds of online messages attacking his decision to ban unvaccinated people has vowed: "I won't change my mind."
Phil Cutter, landlord at the Murderers in Timber Hill, said on Tuesday punters would need to prove they have had at least one jab a minimum of two weeks prior before being allowed in.
The pub is reopening on Saturday, July 17 after being closed for 10 days due to two staff members testing positive for coronavirus.
His stance has proven controversial and has incurred the wrath of hundreds of online commenters – some of whom have sent him vile personal abuse.
"We've seen a massive fallout over it," Mr Cutter said.
"It seems we've been put on some anti-vax forum and inundated with some really vile messages from people all over the country.
"We've had personal abuse, people threatening to put our windows through, people hoping we go out of business – it goes on."
One online commenter described it as "a stupid decision", adding: "I hope he goes bust."
Another called for people to boycott the pub, while several more accused Mr Cutter of discriminating against those who had not had the vaccine.
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In response, Mr Cutter told this newspaper: "We're not trying to discriminate or embarrass anyone, we're just trying to make sure our staff and customers are safe.
"As a small business what we're trying to do is best for everyone, which is not easy.
"We spoke to Public Health England about doing lateral flow tests instead, but they said the issue is you have to trust the person who submits the details.
"I understand we aren't going to please everybody, but some of the abuse is awful. It's more upsetting that my children see it."
Amid some of the abuse, many others did jump to Mr Cutter's defence.
One said: "If you come to my house I will ask you to take off your shoes. The pub is his house, if he asks you to have a vaccine or to wear a mask then that is his prerogative."
Another added: "What a nasty bunch of people. Give the man a break! It's his pub, his decision."
Businesses in the UK have the right to refuse service to people, provided they do not do on discriminatory grounds against people with protected characteristics.