Children under 12yo now allowed in SMC hawker centres, markets for dine-in

Children under 12 years old are not encouraged to go toTaman Indah Weekend market for shopping with their parents.

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SIBU, Oct 16: Children below 12 years old are now allowed to enter Sibu Municipal Council (SMC)  hawker centres and markets for dine-in only starting today.

Chairman of Market and Petty Traders Standing Committee, Councillor Albert Tiang in confirming this said the council is allowing this, following requests from parents.

“This special consideration applies to markets and hawker centres of SMC only. Even though we are easing this restriction, we are still not encouraging parents to bring their children below that age to the market for shopping. If they want to bring their children to dine-in, it is fine. But for shopping, we don’t see the need for it, as it (shopping) has nothing to do with children,” he said.


Places where children can accompany their fully vaccinated parents or guardians for dine-in include Taman Harmony Food Court, Taman Muhibbah Food Court and Sungai Antu food court.

Councillor Albert said the council is still prohibiting children from Central Market and the night market as these two premises are still under H.I.D.E (Hotspot Identification for Dynamic Engagement ) status.

H.I.D.E premises and locations had potential to turn into Covid-19 clusters if pre-emptive actions were not taken.

However there were mixed reactions from parents on this matter.

Some parents would not rush to bring their under 12 years old children to dine-in at the council food court but others welcomed it.

Fitness instructor, John Lam described the council’s decision as a good one. However he would not bring his three children to the council’s food court.

“I dare not, as I do not want to expose them to the risk of contracting the coronavirus as they have not being vaccinated yet. From what I have gathered, these places are quite crowded now,” he noted.

He added that he would rather ‘tapau’ (takeaway) than to dine-in with his children.

“I have been resorting to tapau for quite some times now and will continue to do so until I deem it fit to bring my children out,” he asserted.

Conversely, a single parent, Louis Jaraw who has two kids below 12 years old, reckoned that allowing children to these places is good news for him.

“It is good news to me as my children can at least go out after so long staying at home,” he said.

He however would strictly adhere to the SOP if he is to bring them out which include wearing face masks and observing physical distancing. — DayakDaily.