SMC to start clamping down on non-compliant eateries on May 18

Ting (white shirt) telling an operator on the SOP.

SIBU, May 13: Starting next Monday (May 18) Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) will take stern action against eateries that do not follow the standard operating procedure (SOP) during the conditional Movement Control Order (MCO).

Actions include either suspending or revoking their licenses.

Eateries have been allowed to resume dine-in commencing May 12, but they have to comply with the SOP. This includes taking body temperature of their customers, providing hand sanitizers for
customers, taking down particulars of customers such as their names and contact numbers.

They will also have to ensure that social distancing is being practiced by placing tables at least 2metres apart each other.

SMC chairman Councillor Clarence Ting issued such warning during a phone conversation with chairman of Sibu Coffeeshop and Restaurant Owners Association, Tong Ing Kok today.

According to Tong, the council enforcement team together with the police had started making inspection on businesses around which include eating outlets on Tuesday (May 12) on their need to comply with the SOP.

“During this week, the enforcement team will not take any action but will only give advice to those who have yet to comply with the SOP,” said Tong.

On social distancing, he said most operators were either unaware of the guidelines or purposely did not want to follow it.

“For a small table of 3ft in circumference, only one customer is allowed but I had seen two on the same table. As for rectangular table, the right sitting for customers is at both long ends only,” he clarified.

He wanted them to do table markings so that customers could be guided as to where to sit.

He advised those who feel that they are unable to abide to the SOP to either continue with takeaways service or to close their shop temporary.

Yesterday, Tong said that only between 20 to 30 per cent of the 700 coffeeshops here who resumed dine-in service had followed the SOP under the conditional MCO.

He blamed the lackadaisical attitude of most operators as due to lack of strict enforcement by the authority concern.

“I went round this morning and saw that most of the operators did not even follow the basic SOP like taking the body temperature of the customers, taking down their particulars and providing hand sanitizer,” he said.—DayakDaily