By Peter Sibon
KUCHING, May 1: Restaurants, coffeeshops and food trucks will be allowed to operate starting on Monday, May 4 but not businesses that can draw big crowds, announced Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
However, as it is still during the MCO period, strict observance of the SOP on hygiene and social distancing must be observed to curb the spread of Covid-19 pandemic.
“Restaurants owners, food trucks and eateries (kedai makan) must do the same (observing strict social distancing and hygiene in the premises,” Muhyiddin said in his Labour Day message telecasted live by RTM today.
Taking the example of Pak Salleh, the Prime Minister reminded food cooperators to carry out and monitor all their customers including their details such contact numbers and date as well as time of their patronage to the respective premises.
“I want to give you some simple examples of how this SOP works. For example, starting May 4, which is Monday next week, Pak Salleh can reopen his restaurant. So, in two days Pak Salleh could go to the restaurant to clean the restaurant including the dishes, spoons, pots and other cooking utensils; arrange tables and chairs, and buy stocks of raw goods.
“He has to make sure the table is set at least two meters apart. This is important so that there is ample space between customers and employees, and there is a safe distance between customers who eat there.
“To ensure social distancing for customers, Pak Salleh can place a notice on each table such as “for only one person” or “for two or three people” depending on the size of the table. If it’s a small table, maybe only one or two people are allowed. If the table is large, maybe three or four. This is Pak Salleh’s decision,” he explained.
He also advised food operators to draw lines on the floor in front of payment counter.
“Make sure the lines are at least one meter apart. This is to ensure that customers queue up at least one meter apart when making a payment.
“Also, please provide hand sanitizer at the counter. Paying customers can use the hand sanitizer to sanitise their hands. Provide also adequate soap or hand wash at hand washing places,” he added.
He also advised food operators to buy adequate table sanitisers to ensure that each time a customer left, the table and chairs are sanitised as quickly as possible before another customer is seated.
“Provide face masks for your employees and advised them to wear them all the time. Pak Salleh must also wear a face mask,” he said.
The Prime Minister added that when food outlets reopen, their operators must check the customers’ body temperature before he or she is allowed to enter the restaurants.
“So, if a customer is a positive Covid-19 case, other customers arriving that day can be detected immediately. This is important to ensure the spread of Covid-19. And if this is all done, customers can come to the restaurant to have their meals.
“But if you are unsure whether you want to dine in a restaurant and take away your food instead. This might be better,” he said.
Meanwhile, Muhyiddin said starting Monday, most business sectors would be allowed to operate except businesses which can draw large crowd such as cinema and pubs.
Besides that, all social and religious gatherings will not allowed be allowed during the MCO period until May 12. — DayakDaily