Kelly O's

There was a tense encounter in the doorway of the Kelly O'Bryans restaurant on Monday afternoon when an irate customer refused to produce a COVID-19 vaccine card and the restaurant manager called Kelowna RCMP after the woman refused to leave.

All the customers at Kelly O'Bryans' restaurant in downtown Kelowna were okay Monday with the new requirement to produce their COVID-19 vaccine card or inoculation papers.

Until 1:50 p.m. That's when a lady in white sweater showed up.

She began yelling at manager Toby Nicholson that he was violating her human and Canadian rights by asking to see the card. She ignored his polite requests to leave the doorway so other customers could come and go.

The increasingly fraught encounter went on for about five minutes. Nicholson ordered her to leave the restaurant and told her if she didn't, he would phone the police.

She told him to go right ahead, somehow believing that he and not her would end up being arrested.

The woman finally did leave, moments before two red-shirted downtown security guards arrived. They would be followed minutes later by police, as Nicholson did indeed phone the Kelowna RCMP.

"She said she was going to sue us for interfering with her human rights," Nicholson said in an interview after the woman had wandered away, apparently headed to join a 2 p.m. anti-vax card rally outside the Interior Health building a few blocks away.

"She's the first one we had any problems with," Nicholson said. "Everyone else has been great. I haven't had any issues, other than that one."

The job of enforcing customer usage of the new vaccine card at B.C. restaurants falls to managers like Nicholson and their employees. It's not a job he relishes, but it's one he accepts.

"There's nothing I can do about this," he said. "Everything's out of my control. I'm just doing my part. I want to keep my job, and my staff to keep their jobs, so this is something we have to do."