Like ever other business, the Bytowne Cinema on Rideau Street must check for proof of vaccination for entry. But while the Ford government is scrapping the requirement March 1, The Bytowne says, ‘not so fast.’
Co-owner Daniel Demois says the vaccine passport system will be in place at the cinema for at least an extra month.
“Our audience had indicated to us that they might not be the most comfortable with the idea that this would not still be in place,” says Demois. “Every little bit of caution helps, I think. And we’re just trying to do what we can to maybe limit the spread, even just a little bit, if we can.”
So far, the Bytowne Cinema is the first business in Ottawa to declare where it stands after March 1, but they aren’t the only ones who will keep using the QR codes.
The Canadian Museum of Nature says they too will continue to check for proof of vaccination for those looking to enter after March 1.
Larger theatre chain Landmark Cinemas says it will ditch the proof of vaccination checks once the requirement is gone.
“You know, when someone is sitting in a movie theatre for two hours, I think they will be given a little bit more comfort in knowing that they’re with other people that are taking the same precautions as they are,” says Demois.
Small business advocate Michael Wood says every business will determine what is best for its customers.
“I think really what it boils down to is what’s best for the business. What do they feel is best for their customers?” says Wood. “If the business wants to maintain having a vaccine passport and they feel that’s going to bring in their customers and fill their seats, okay. And if they feel that that’s not what’s going to work to help regain consumer confidence and fill their seats, I can understand both sides.”
For Demois, he says many of his regulars at the Bytowne are happy the QR codes are here to stay, at least for the time being.
“The people that were coming before that have done the work to make it safer for everybody, those are the people that have been coming and we want to continue to welcome them,” says Demois. “And if this will help them feel a little bit safer, then that’s what we’re going to do.”