certificate row | 

Court orders Wexford restaurant owner who refuses to check Covid certs to remain closed

Luigi Perri, who describes the Covid cert as a 'Nazipass', temporarily closed his restaurant earlier this month after being hospitalised with Covid
Restaurant owners Luigi and Lucia Perri

Restaurant owners Luigi and Lucia Perri

Alan Sherry

A court has ordered a Wexford restaurant owner who refused to check Covid certs and later contracted the virus to remain closed due to his continued refusal to check certs.

Luigi Perri, who controversially describes the Covid cert as a “Nazipass”, temporarily closed down the Forge Restaurant and Pizzeria in Castlebridge earlier this month after being hospitalised with Covid.

He planned to reopen this restaurant last Wednesday but a judge ruled that he could not reopen for another week due to his refusal to check Covid certs.

Perri said a judge told him the restaurant could reopen if he would check the certs but he refused to do so.

“They decided to shut us down for 7 days, our only fault, not to discriminate against people. If, on the other hand, I accepted their request, I could continue working,” he said.

He said the restaurant will now reopen on December 29th.

Statistics released this week show that unvaccinated people accounted for 54pc of all patients in intensive care in Ireland despite just 6pc of the population being unvaccinated.

Perri, who is unvaccinated and was hospitalised with Covid earlier this month, told the Sunday World that he would continue his policy of not checking certs when he reopens.

He said he had paid out thousands in legal costs as a result of his refusal to check certs.

Perri admitted that he may have contracted Covid in his restaurant but could have caught it elsewhere.

“I've been to, Penny’s, TK Max, Tesco, Lidl, downtown shops, etc. To a question like this, what answer would you have wanted?

“I could have taken [caught] it very well at the restaurant too, but this would have been much less likely, because all the customers, upon their arrival, sanitized their hands and went to their place to have dinner.

“When they get up to go to the bathroom, they wear masks, and since they are customers, and not family members, we don't hug and kiss.

“Once dinner is finished, the customer pays, in front of a protective screen and they leave, promptly, the table is sanitized and prepared, in case someone else intends to eat. If you linger in all the places that I have told you before, you will notice that all of this does not happen.”

Perri has raised over €18,000 on an online fundraising page which he said is to pay legal costs as the HSE have brought him to court over his refusal to check certs.

He said this week that a third of the money raised so far has already gone on legal costs.

The owners of The Forge Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria, Luigi and Lucia Perri (Instagram)

The owners of The Forge Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria, Luigi and Lucia Perri (Instagram)

“The lawyers have already taken a third of that collected amount,” he said.

He confirmed that he has received a lot of criticism for his refusal to check Covid certs.

“We receive so many negative reviews for the simple reason, to make us pay for our choice. [We’ve received] insults in private with emails, private messages that we have to go back to Italy, that we have to die etc.”

The restaurant responded to some one star reviews online by calling people whores and sons of bitches in Italian.

Perri told the Sunday World he was temporarily banned from Facebook this week after arguing with someone who said they hoped he died from Covid.

“A person wished me to die with the Covid. I had replied that he had to come face to face and tell me…do you know what Facebook did? Blocked me for 24 hours.”

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