Martin Laniel said he was ready to take people at their word, but not anymore.
The owner of the Haines Junction, Yukon business said he now wants to see proof of COVID-19 vaccination before admitting people as guests to his hostel.
No proof? No bed.
“As a business, you have the legal right to make your own business decisions. And I know for me that business decision right now is that anyone who walks into my building will show me proof of vaccination,” he said. he declared.
Laniel’s Wanderer’s Inn was identified by health officials in the Yukon as a potential exposure location for COVID-19 the week before on Tuesday. Laniel accuses a guest who he claims lied to him about being vaccinated.
“Since we reopened, you know, we’ve been asking people if they’ve been vaccinated, and people are usually early. Sometimes they’re like, ‘Do you need to see some evidence? “” Laniel said.
“Sometimes they show it, sometimes they don’t. But I wasn’t asking for it, you know. And maybe it was my mistake.”
Laniel said he was contacted by health officials who he said were conducting contact tracing. He later learned of the exposure notice for his company from the media.
Health officials said on Tuesday that anyone who was at the hostel August 21-27 should watch for symptoms. An exhibit notice was also issued for an inn in Whitehorse, but it was canceled on Friday.
Laniel said he discovered the identity of the guest from the dates given for his hostel. He would not say how he found out the person lied to him about the vaccination.
Another setback for business
This was a serious frustration for Laniel. He, his staff and his family all had to undergo a rapid test. Everyone has tested negative, Laniel said.
But it hurt his business, he said, at a time when he felt it was only restarting. The pandemic saw it shut down for about a year, and it was slow to pick up when it reopened last spring.
Some guests canceled shortly after the exhibition notice was posted.
Her biggest concern, however, is the safety of her small community.
“You have no idea how much I regret that this has happened in my workplace,” he said.
“I hate that my business could be the business that could potentially cause an epidemic in my community, you know? ”
Thursday, there was no indication from the territorial health authorities that the two hostels had triggered any epidemic. The daily number of active cases in the Yukon has hovered in the 1920s in recent days, and most of those cases have been in Whitehorse.
Laniel said he was now prepared to be stricter by only allowing vaccinated people into his business – and asking for physical proof. He said many guests, especially Americans, were already voluntarily demonstrating this.
He is also now asking his staff to always wear masks around guests.
“What’s unfortunate is that, you know, we’re a hostel – we’re not a hotel. So there’s a lot of shared spaces, that’s why, you know, it’s very, very upsetting for us because, you know, we can expose a lot of people. “