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Cert campaign Restaurant owner infected with Covid says he won't check certs when he reopens

'My problem is the Nazipass. The Nazipass does not guarantee you that you do not have the Covid so I'll never ask'

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Restaurant owners Luigi and Lucia Perri

Restaurant owners Luigi and Lucia Perri

Restaurant owners Luigi and Lucia Perri

A Wexford restaurateur who had to temporarily close after refusing to check Covid certs says he has now contracted coronoavirus himself.

Luigi Perri, who runs the The Forge Restaurant and Pizzeria in Castlebridge, also says he will not check certs when he reopens - despite catching the virus.

Mr Perri hit the headlines last month after he launched an online fundraising campaign to fight the HSE, which he said was bringing him to court for refusing to check customers Covid certs.

The campaign has already raised in excess of €17,500.

Perri was recently hospitalised with Covid and announced last week that the restaurant has had to temporarily close as a result.

He told the Sunday World this week that he will continue his policy of not checking Covid certs when he reopens.

"We will never bow to fascism," he said. "I don't understand why I should ask for the Nazipass, if it is absolutely not for the safety of people.

"My problem is the Nazipass. Do not discriminate against anyone. The Nazipass does not guarantee you that you do not have the Covid so I'll never ask," he said.

The Auschwitz Museum have taken great issue with people linking Covid safety measures to the atrocities committed by the Nazis.

They said: "The instrumentalisation of the tragedy of Jews who suffered, were humiliated, marked with a yellow star, isolated in ghettos & murdered during the Holocaust, in a debate on different systems that aim at protecting public health is a sad symptom of moral and intellectual decline."

When the Sunday World asked Perri if he felt his comparison to Nazi Germany was inappropriate, he replied: "Albeit in a different form, it is repeating itself."

He said he spent 30 hours in Wexford hospital and claimed he was the only unvaccinated person on the Covid ward.

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"I had my direct testimony with the hospital, the only unvaccinated person in the Wexford Covid ward, I was much better off than all the fully vaccinated ones. It is useless to make fake headlines. The truth is only one, the Nazipass does not give you any kind of security, it only serves to brand people and be able to discriminate."

Figures released this week said that 54pc of people admitted to ICU between July and November were unvaccinated even though only around 10pc of the population are unvaccinated.

When we pointed this out to Perri, he claimed the figures were false.

"The statistics you say, are numbers transmitted by them. False. Why don't you go and see in Wexford during this period, how many are hospitalised for Covid, and how many of them have the vaccine? I'll answer you. All!"

The Sunday World asked Perri if he caught Covid from working in the restaurant but he declined to say. HSE inspectors have visited the restaurant on numerous occasions due to Perri's stance.

In posts on his fundraising page addressing the visits, he said "The HSE is bringing us to court and your support will help us to keep going."

Earlier this year the owner of an Italian restaurant in Galway launched an online fundraiser to challenge the Covid-19 cert at court on the grounds of discrimination.

Il Vicolo restaurant in Galway has raised €114,000 so far through online donations.

"Due to our refusal to comply, we have been constantly inspected by HSE Compliance Officers," they said. "We were served with a Compliance Notice on 20th August and brought to the District Court on numerous occasions. Our business was even shut for two days in September following an application by the HSE for an emergency cessation order. On 4th October the District Judge ruled he did not have to address the issue of discrimination as the Compliance Notice issued by the HSE was worded in a way that meant we did not have to prevent people entering."

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