A pub landlady has admitted to turning away her own daughter after introducing a ban on unvaccinated customers.
Shelly Jones, who owns the Minerva Inn, in Plymouth, made the controversial decision to keep out any punter who cannot show proof of their Covid-19 vaccination status.
The publican said the strict policy was to protect her older and more vulnerable clientele, who have proven loyal throughout the pandemic.
Speaking to ITV, Shelly said: ‘I’ve even had to turn away my own daughter, she hasn’t had any jabs yet. She turned up at the door and I was like “sorry you can’t come in”.
‘I know it doesn’t stop it spreading, I know you can still catch it and pass it on but my old man sat in the back room is 90 and some 18-year-old comes in and cuddles him on the way through, which they do after drinks have been taken on, I know I’ve done everything to keep him safe.’
Shelly’s husband, Martin Jones, says he stands behind her decision 100 per cent of the way.
Shelly Jones (pictured), refused her own daughter entry to her pub in Plymouth because she hadn’t been vaccinated
But the move has split opinion among the pub’s clientele, including one disgruntled Plymouth man who said he felt ‘mistreated’.
He said: ‘We were out for a couple of drinks and we were walking past the Minerva Inn, and we saw an a-frame outside the pub which said something along the lines of “unless you can prove you’ve been double-jabbed, you can’t come in”.
‘That was a bit rubbish, because the sole reason I’m not double-jabbed was down to my age.
‘We left, we didn’t make a fuss, but the more I thought about it, the more it bugged me.
‘I went on their Facebook page and left a review explaining that unless you’re double-jabbed you’re not welcome here. I was thinking about people who can’t have the vaccine, due to medical conditions, they’re not welcome there.
‘The other side of it is all these university-age young people who are sacrificing not going out, having to deal with their uni work from home.
‘They sacrificed that so that the elderly could get vaccinated, and as soon as that’s happened, this person seems to be going around saying you’re not welcome here.’
Martin told PlymouthLive he had looked into the legality of it, and says as far as he can see, in terms of equality law, he isn’t breaking any laws.
Martin said if he thought he was discriminating, and breaking the law, he would change his policy, however for the time being, he says the double-jabbed policy will stay, at least until the rates of Covid-19 start to drop significantly in the city.
Speaking to PlymouthLive, Martin said: ‘The reason behind it is that a lot of our regulars are, I would say, 55 plus, on average.’
‘When things opened back up, they said they didn’t want to come back if there was loads of youngsters there not double-jabbed, not protected.
‘We know that being double-jabbed isn’t the be all and end all. It isn’t going to be 100% accurate, but it’s more of a certainty than not being jabbed at all.’
Their decision has split opinion among the Minerva Inn’s clientele, including one disgruntled Plymouth man who said he felt ‘mistreated’ (Pictured: Minerva Inn)
Martin also said that his policy isn’t dissimilar to what Boris Johnson and his government have been discussing with regards to vaccine passports.
Martin continued: ‘I know one person has said it was discrimination, which it might be, but I’ve looked into it legally, and as long as there is an objective justification to doing it, you can legally do it.
‘It’s only a temporary measure, there’s a justification for it, it’s for the welfare of the customers and the welfare of the staff.
‘I don’t like turning people away, but our regulars are the ones who turn up week in week out, and they’ve supported us throughout the pandemic.
‘They’re also the ones who were concerned about getting Covid, so we wanted to look after them. This is a short-term measure, and I’ll change things when the figures start coming down properly, but as things stand the actual Covid rates are still relatively high.
‘We don’t want to turn people away, that’s the last thing we want to do, but we’re looking after our regular customers, who were concerned about the lifting of the restrictions. We’ll keep this under review going forward.
‘This isn’t beneficial to us as a business, we’re actually losing business because of it.’
Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi squirmed in the Commons this week as he was hammered by Tory MPs over ‘unsupportable, coercive and discriminatory’ plans for Covid passports in England.
The vaccines minister was assailed by a host of his own side as he answered an urgent question on the proposals for using certification in nightclubs and other venues.
Faced with barbs that he was talking ‘rubbish’ and did not really back the policy, Mr Zahawi admitted that it caused him ‘pain’ to ‘curtail people’s freedoms’.
Source: Daily Mail UK