(Contributed - FWSY)

(Contributed - FWSY)

Kelowna restaurant owner speaks out after customers dispute COVID-19 guidelines

Customer at FWSY! in Kelowna caused stir after mask, contact tracing guidelines enforced

A Kelowna restaurant owner is speaking out after a customer refused to follow COVID-19 guidelines, and caused a stir online.

The owner insists this is not an isolated incident, and occurs daily at restaurants around the region.

Christina Skinner, owner of Frankie We Salute You! vegetarian restaurant in Kelowna, explained that on Jan. 9 a customer arrived at her store without a face covering. The customer was offered a mask, and her information was taken down for contract tracing purposes. The customer then began to yell at a staff member, citing COVID-19 conspiracies, refused to wear the mask, and demanded her contact tracing information be removed.

READ MORE: COVID death toll in B.C. tops 1,000 as 1,475 new cases recorded over the weekend

A video posted online by the customer shows Skinner stepping in in an attempt to de-escalate the situation. Skinner is shown scratching the woman’s name out on the contact tracing list, followed by her asking the woman to leave.

“As she was leaving she screamed that she hoped I die of COVID, and that our business fails,” said Skinner.

Since then the video has gained traction online, but has since been removed.

The owner has spoken to police about the incident, and said she was told if anything like this happens again, to call 911 right away.

Skinner said this is nothing new. Since mask requirements took effect in B.C. as a part of COVID-19 public health guidelines, she said countless customers have lashed out at her staff.

“People have been so awful to my staff. It’s been really hard as an owner and general manager to see, especially when my team is so young, fresh, and hopeful.”

While she fully supports guidelines set in place by the province, Skinner believes restaurants have been singled out with more mandatory rules than other industries.

Skinner said small businesses in the city are at risk of closing for good “if people are allowed to bully owners and small businesses over something that isn’t even their choice.

She hopes society stops blaming restaurants for enforcing rules that may go against their personal beliefs.

“I’m a firm advocate in freedom of speech, and people have every right to disagree on public health policy and what they should do with their bodies. But it shouldn’t be at the expense of individuals who feel differently, and small businesses that are just trying to survive.

“In an ideal society, we need to rise above our own personal beliefs, and just understand, and be empathetic,” Skinner said.

READ MORE: Three Kelowna flights flagged for COVID-19

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: phil.mclachlan@kelownacapnews.com


 

@newspaperphil
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

People skate on a lake in a city park in Montreal, Sunday, January 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
The end of hugs: How COVID-19 has changed daily life a year after Canada’s 1st case

Today marks the one year anniversary of COVID-19 landing in Canada

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News file)
Two Kelowna flights flagged for COVID-19 onboard

The flights were on Jan. 14 and 18

A Dodge Ram pickup similar to this one was involved in a hit-and-run in Lake Country on Saturday, Jan. 16. (Crime Stoppers photo)
Stolen truck involved in Lake Country hit-and-run

Incident happened on Highway 97 just before 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 16

The Okanagan Regional Library is holding a pair of online contests for its young readers. (File photo)
Okanagan Regional Library challenges young readers

Pair of contests online aimed at kids aged up to 18

Kelowna Fire Department. (FILE)
Early morning downtown Kelowna dumpster fire deemed suspicious

RCMP and the Kelowna Fire Department will conduct investigations into the cause of the blaze

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

Auldin Maxwell stacks the 693rd block on the top of record-breaking Jenga tower on Nov. 29. (Submitted)
Salmon Arm boy rests world-record attempt on single Jenga brick

Auldin Maxwell, 12, is now officially a Guinness world record holder.

The fine for changing lanes or merging over a solid line costs drivers $109 and two penalty points in B.C. (Screenshot via Google Street View)
B.C. drivers caught crossing, merging over solid white lines face hefty fine

Ticket for $109, two penalty points issued under Motor Vehicle Act for crossing solid lines

A registered nurse prepares a dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in Halifax on Monday, Jan. 11, 2021. Yukon’s Minister of Community Services, John Streiker, says he’s outraged that a couple from outside the territory travelled to a remote community this week and received doses of COVID-19 vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan-POOL
Couple charged after travelling to Yukon to get COVID-19 vaccine

The maximum fine under the emergency measures act is $500, and up to six months in jail

Metis Nation of B.C. President Clara Morin Dal Col poses in this undated handout photo. The Metis Nation of B.C. says Dal Col has been suspended from her role as president. The Metis Nation of B.C. says Dal Col has been suspended from her role as president. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Metis Nation of B.C. *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Metis Nation of B.C. suspends president, citing ‘breach’ of policies, procedures

Vice-president Lissa Smith is stepping in to fill the position on an acting basis

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks in the in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Payette shouldn’t get same benefits as other ex-governors general: O’Toole

Former governors general are entitled to a pension and also get a regular income paid to them for the rest of their lives

Crystal Johns used her lunch break to film her audition video for the Vancouver Canucks.
VIDEO: Former Vees anthem singer wants to bring her voice to the Canucks

Crystal Johns made her audition tape during a lunch break

Snow covers Main Street in downtown Penticton Monday morning, Jan. 25, 2021.
First snowfall of 2021

Chances of light snow all week

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read