As Britain and other countries clampdown against citizens who have not yet, or refused to take the COVID-19 vaccination, or booster shots, one celebrity chef is trying to turn the tide by offering a warm welcome to the unvaccinated at his popular pub in Oxfordshire.
British celebrity chef Antony Worrall Thompson placed a sign above his pub “The Greyhound” to welcome unvaccinated Britons.
“We do not discriminate,” reads the sign. “Race, gender, age, disability, vaccinated or unvaccinated. Everyone equal here. Everyone welcome.”
Thompson, a television presenter and restaurateur told the BBC that he is not an “antivaxxer,” and that he simply believes in “freedom of choice.” The former Ready Steady Cook star, says that people should have the freedom of choice around whether they should get vaccinated or not.
His comments come days after his restaurant placed the notice calling for equality, which led to complaints that the sign should be removed because it was reportedly “made by an anti-vaccination group,” according to the BBC.
“At the end of the day we've done our time, we've done two years of this, lockdowns and various things and precautions, and I think it's time to move on,” said the chef.
The BBC, which accused him of being irresponsible, prompted him to reply that he didn’t think it was irresponsible “at all.”
"You know you have the choice,” he explained. “Freedom of choice to get vaccinated, freedom of choice to come to The Greyhound.”
“I agree with people getting vaccinated. I'm not an anti-vaxxer... to me if you don't want to get vaccinated, if you don't want to put chemicals into your body, it has to be your choice,” said Thompson.
Dr. Rachel Ward, who works at the Woodlands Medical Center in Didcot, told the BBC that she is concerned that the sign will encourage people not to get vaccinated.
"In the U.K. there is no law for the majority of people to get vaccinated, but it is important to remember if you do not want to be vaccinated it has a much more far reaching effect on society other than just whether you are welcomed into your local pub,” she said.
On social media, Thompson is being celebrated as a hero for standing up to the prevailing establishment narrative that the unvaccinated are to be shunned and treated as second-class citizens.
England is one of the few European countries to relax its coronavirus restrictions in response to public objections to vaccine passports and other forms of restrictions widely embraced by Germany and Austria.
Although the country introduced vaccine passports to enter nightclubs over the Christmas period, the rules are expected to be repealed as early as next week. The British government is also one of the few countries to admit that mask mandates are not as effective as expected based on scientific data, Rebel News reported.