'No vaccine, no entry' - Norwich pub imposes new rule
- Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021
Customers hoping to go to a city centre pub will have to prove they have had at least one vaccination to enter.
Those yearning for a pint with friends at The Murderers in Timberhill will need to have had a vaccine within a minimum period of two weeks or they will not be 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.
And all guests will be required to prove their vaccination status to gain entry both inside and outdoors at the venue as all restrictions are lifted on Monday, July 19.
Landlord Phil Cutter said: "All it takes is one person to come in with some semblance of the virus to pass it on. We need to get everybody in the same boat and make it a blanket rule for a minimum two weeks period.
"We are trying to make it as difficult for people as possible so that they get the vaccine and think 'I want to go down to the pub so I better get mine done'."
The decision is based on Public Health England (PHE) advice which says it typically takes two weeks after a vaccination for the body to build up immunity against the virus.
Mr Cutter said any type of the coronavirus vaccine was fine, with customers being asked to show they had had a jab through the NHS app, or a physical card.
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But other pubs in the city are taking a different stance and believe it will be difficult to enforce vaccine passports.
Colin Keatley, landlord of the Fat Cat, said: "I have not really got my head around the vaccine passport yet. They are just proposing this as a possibility.
"A pub is a pub and if you start selecting just because someone has not had a jab but has nothing wrong with them, then that is discrimination."
Mr Keatley said 50pc of his staff had chosen to continue wearing face masks but the decision was up to them.
Landlady of the Adam and Eve, Rita McCluskey, added: "I do not see how you can enforce passports. Face masks are always preferable but it is not something we can enforce.
"Even when it is mandatory, there are still people who are exempt and you can't question them."
She said caution would still be needed with people being encouraged to continue using hand sanitiser, with indoor seating gradually being increased as people felt more confident.
Lou Wilding, landlady of The Reindeer pub on Dereham Road said she was undecided on how the 'Freedom Day' rules would be enforced for her pub at this stage.
Meanwhile Peter Marks, chief executive of REKOM UK, which owns 42 nightclubs including Bar&Beyond in Norwich, said he was "thrilled" to be able to reopen next Monday "at full capacity and without any requirement for a negative Covid test".
What about public transport?
Train and bus operators will no longer be able to force passengers to wear face masks after the end of lockdown regulations next week - but they will be urging travellers to follow government advice and cover their faces on busy services.
Until Monday all passengers on public transport have to wear face masks unless they have a medical exemption - that includes people at railway stations.
But from then there will be no compulsion to wear a mask - although it is being replaced by firm government advice to do so, especially on busy services.
A spokeswoman for Greater Anglia said: “We will continue to operate in line with government guidance. From July 19, the Government recommends that people should wear face coverings in crowded areas – such as busy trains.
“Increasing numbers of people are travelling with confidence on our trains and they can continue to do so."
The Confederation of Passenger Transport questioned why public transport operators had been singled out by the government for specific advice.