A London greengrocer has made his views on those who dismiss the severity of the pandemic abundantly clear with a very cheeky sign that’s doing the rounds online.

Andreas Georghiou, 54, owner of Andreas Veg in Chelsea, south west London, posted a candid sign on his shopfront saying that as the government has “f****d it”, he is now reintroducing measures in a bid to protect his customers and staff.

The sign reads: “As the government has f****d it yet again, we politely ask that all customers (except those with exceptions) wear face masks which we are happy to provide. Only two or a couple plus one to enter the store.”

It then adds: “Please save the ‘I am double vaxxed’, the ‘I’ve had it’ chat for elsewhere. Any anti-vax Q-Anon b******s will result in a life ban. Save your common law bulls**t for the birds.”

He signed off: “A very p****d off Andreas.”

Since it was shared on the shop’s Twitter and Instagram profiles, people have been sharing it online and responding to the message. One person responded “bloody marvellous” while another wrote: “If you wasn’t 300 miles away I would shop here daily based on this sign alone.”

Speaking to indy100, Georghiou said the reaction to the sign has been overwhelmingly positive and that he has received kind emails from as far away as Scotland praising his no-nonsense approach. His in-store customers have also enjoyed the sign, with some even requesting their own copies, he said.

He said: “The reaction in the shop has generally been really positive. We’ve had lots of laughs and ‘well dones’ and an awful lot of ‘thank God someone is saying it’, that kind of thing.

“We might auction off the image,” he laughed.

Georghiou first opened for business in Chiswick 29 years ago before relocating to Cale Street in Chelsea nine years ago. Selling groceries, charcuterie and cheeses, Andreas Veg counts celebrity chef Nigella Lawson amongst his clientele.

Although the sign has raised smiles, Georghiou said he was inspired to write the notice as he is frustrated by the government’s handling of the pandemic. He said he’s fed up with the poor messaging and the way in which the retail industry has been treated over the last 20 months.

“It’s just the sheer frustration of what’s been allowed to happen, the fact the government hasn’t confronted the anti-vax lobby, the lack of leadership, and the public health messaging has been awful,” he said.

“The frustration and anger put into sort of a semi-humorous context which, being a shopkeeper of 30 years, my customers would get because they know me and they trust me and my judgment, and right now you see figures going through the roof.

“It’s just a really sad state of affairs that we are where we are, and unfortunately all I can do is protect my family, friends, customers, and team members — which so far I think we’ve done very well.”

And what does he say to those who flout the rules? “Why can’t you just get a grip? Why would you put your ridiculous agenda before the health of the nation?” he asked.

He said he gets that anti-vaxxers may have been misled by misinformation, but said: “I’m not going to put up with it in my shop so if you come in and babble on, then you’re going to bubble out.”

Alongside the pandemic, retailers have also been hit by Brexit. The two coinciding has been an “absolute disaster”, Georghiou said.

He said: “Brexit is costing every single shopkeeper in the country money. Those who were closed, those who suddenly had to start paying import duties, or lost staff and are working extra hours to keep food on the table — we shouldn’t be here.”

New Covid fears have been sparked as cases have climbed since late September. On Thursday the UK recorded more than 50,000 cases for the first time since July.

Speaking at a news conference earlier this week, health secretary Sajid Javid called on those eligible to get their booster vaccines to get jabbed, warning that masks, working from home, and vaccine passports — key components of the government’s ‘plan B’ —  may otherwise have to be brought in.

Meanwhile Sage advisors have urged Downing Street to “act now, rather than later”.

The World Health Organisation has warned that vaccines alone won’t be enough to eradicate the pandemic. We shouldn’t be focussing on “one thing” and should instead consider “getting serious about not crowding” and consider readopting masks, WHO spokesperson Margaret Harris told Times Radio.

Georghiou for PM, anyone?

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