Cardboard signs featuring a swastika and Star of David pinned to the door of a Snells Beach restaurant have left the owner, angry, upset and concerned for the safety of her staff.
Bayside Bistro co-owner Susan Vize says she laid a complaint with police about the signs, which were discovered on Saturday morning (November 27).
The signs featured the words “Discrimination in never OK.” Their appearance follows a Mahurangi Matters story
“Restaurants ready to bar unvaccinated” (MM November 22) where Ms Vize said she would be implementing a “no vax, no service policy”.
But Ms Vize says she is not choosing to discriminate; she is simply following the law. Under the Government’s “traffic light” Covid protection framework, during red and orange phases restaurants can operate only a contactless service, unless they are willing to ensure patrons have vaccination certificates.
Ms Vize fears the signs are the beginning of a hate campaign based on misinformation and says restaurants are already struggling from months of lost business.
She has CCTV footage of the offending signs being placed and has asked police to serve a trespass notice on those responsible, which would make them guilty of an offence if they repeated the stunt.
Senior Constable Jon Williams, of Warkworth Police, says the signs could be construed as “intimidation”, but if any offence had occurred so far it would be of a “very minor nature”.
Nevertheless, police hoped to identify the culprits, serve the trespass notice on them and issue a verbal warning.
“We would point out to these people that they should not be taking it out personally on local business owners who are just trying to comply with the law,” he says.
“People are quite worked up about this on both sides and sometimes we have all got to take a breath.”
Meanwhile, Ms Vize says several customers have told her she has got the vaccine issue all wrong and needs to change her views.
Some have argued that the unvaccinated are no more likely to transmit Covid-19 than the vaccinated, making refusing entry to the unvaccinated pointless.
However, the Ministry of Health, disagreed.
Chief medical officer Andrew Connolly says the rate of transmission among the unvaccinated is far greater than the vaccinated and adds that vaccination significantly slows transmission in households and communities.
Referring to a recent study on households, he says a vaccinated person who catches Covid is 63 per cent less likely to transmit the disease to their household.
“If you add in the fact that most vaccinated people don’t get the disease, the modelling suggests a more than 80 per cent reduction in household transmission,” he says.