A quick check with a number of restaurant and bar owners today in the lead up to new COVID restrictions that go into effect at 6pm on Friday, pointed up scathing criticism, with one business owner saying: “Enough is enough!”

Speaking with Bermuda Real this morning on the condition of anonymity, one city bar owner stated outright that he was “pissed”.

When asked why, he replied: “Because all of sudden we’re getting back on our feet and here we go again!

“And why is it that the bars and restaurants are always taking the brunt of all of it?

“Why not go and hit the supermarkets? Go hit the government buildings!

“Do they have SafeKey in government offices? Do they have to have a safekey? It just doesn’t make sense to me when you take mask off to do your work inside buildings – it doesn’t make sense!”

Ultimately, he said: “Enough is enough! We took the full brunt of all of this from day one and continue to do so.”

Asked if he had one thing to say to the Government led by Premier David Burt, he said: “All you’re doing is just killing us off! We won’t be able to survive like this!”

Another city restaurant owner said she barely made it through the last round earlier this year between March and April.

Ultimately, she decided to close the restaurant for seven weeks. And now she is three months behind in rent, which by the way, she said her landlord increased while she was out of business.

Asked how she feels about the new restrictions, she said: “All it will do is set us back again.

“I have a few customers who are not vaccinated, who could sit outside; but they don’t want to.

“I’ve had a few customers get annoyed because they cannot dine inside and we can’t do anything.”

Asked whether she felt it the new protocols were fair, she said: “No I don’t think it’s fair.

“We’re just caught between a rock and a hard place and we got hurt really badly from the last time.

“We had to close for seven weeks due to no indoor service.”

With only a few tables for outside dining she said it was just not worth it when you have to pay two chefs, waitresses, the bartenders, etc.

To make matters worse, she said: “The landlord took the rent up and I was like what can I do?

“Now I’m three months behind because seven weeks is a long time to be closed.”

Asked if other restaurant owners share her view, she said: “We all feel the same way but we’re all trying to survive and trying to keep people working.

“I may be able to take this short straw,” she said. “But we can’t keep going like this!”

Meanwhile, an avid foodie, who dines out – indoors – often said: “I am totally annoyed with this restriction!

“I don’t see why healthy people should have to subject themselves to a test. It’s just another measure to try to force us to be vaccinated. Some of us can’t for medical reasons, some of us choose to wait, some of us will never get it!

“It has to be personal choice.

“We have stood by the restaurants throughout all of this. It’s time for them to stand by us.

“Eating outside is not an option for all. It’s too damned hot! I hope they have the gumption to stand up to this government!

Bermuda Real has several calls in to various restaurant, bar owners and customers for their input, which is still pending.

Since time of publication, another city restaurant owner responded, saying: “I don’t think much will change business wise as the majority of the population is vaccinated and the non-vaccinated can dine outside at most establishments.

“However, the message is more divisiveness and discriminatory and only fuels the negativity which only drags Bermuda down.”

He concluded: “The bottom line (IMO), this new policy will do nothing to curb the spread of the Delta variant as the vaccinated are very capable of advancing the numbers.”