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Almost half of North Shore diners won't miss B.C.'s vaccine passport: poll

Does it matter to you whether the people at the next table are vaccinated?
About 40 per cent of North Vancouver and West Vancouver residents are leery about restaurants now about 48 per cent don't mind the end of the vaccine passport.

The masks are off and there's no one checking your vaccine passport at the door.

British Columbians are navigating a world in which the Omicron variant (and sub-variants) of COVID-19 are still very much making the rounds but there are no rules requiring anyone to be fully vaccinated to go to restaurants and other group settings.

The vaccine passport came into effect in mid-September 2021. Dr. Bonnie Henry ended the requirement as of April 5 this year, citing widespread vaccine coverage.

How are we feeling about that?

North Shore News polled 1,926  readers and asked the question: Is the end of B.C.'s vaccine passport impacting your desire to eat out?

The poll ran from April 8 to 21. Of the 1,926 votes, we can determine that 748 are from within the community. The full results are as follows:

Yes, I believe this will make restaurants less safe. 40.24% local, 40.29% total    
No, I don't think it makes a difference at this point. 48.13% local, 44.86% total    
I still won't sit down in a restaurant, with or without vaccine passports. 8.82% local, 9.24% total    
I am not vaccinated and I will be eating out more. 2.67 % local, 5.56 % total    
  Local   Total

As of this week, 93 per cent of North Vancouver residents over the age of five have received at least two doses, while 89 per cent of West Vancouver/Bowen Island residents are deemed fully vaccinated.

It’s been a difficult subject, said Scott McArthur, owner of Raglan’s Bistro in Lower Lonsdale, but the one thing he’s noticed since the restrictions were lifted is larger groups coming to dine.

“There would sometimes be a party that would have one person that wasn't vaccinated, and so that kind of threw a wrench in the works for those groups coming,” he said. “All that business that would have got turned away is not getting turned away.”

The other noticeable change has been a decrease in stress for restaurant staff who were responsible for checking passports at the door.

“It was sort of burdensome for the staff to have to do it and I think that's been a relief to them,” he said. “The pressure came off.”

Results are based on an online study of adult North Shore News readers who are located in North Vancouver and West Vancouver. The margin of error − which measures sample variability − is +/- 2.22%, 19 times out of 20.

North Shore News uses a variety of techniques to capture data, detect and prevent fraudulent votes, detect and prevent robots, and filter out non-local and duplicate votes.