After two months, Penangites can eat out again at 10,000 places

Dining-in services will resume at 10,000 premises in Penang tomorrow after two-month shutdown.

GEORGE TOWN: Penangites will be able to eat out again from tomorrow, when dine-in services resume at almost 10,000 eating places, exactly two months after the federal government suspended all public activities as part of measures against Covid-19.

The state government said today that 8,800 more premises would be allowed to provide dine-in services, bringing the total number to 9,682 premises.

However, pubs, bars and entertainment outlets are to remain closed.

State executive councillor Jagdeep Singh Deo said the state government was confident about the reopening of eateries “as we have achieved a 99% compliance rate (with hygiene procedures) prior to this”. He said Penangites would continue to comply so that the state remained a green zone.

Among the hygiene procedures are: a ban on buffets and self-service; a requirement for all cutlery to be sterilised and to be served to customers by waiters; a ban on sharing of cutlery.

Time limits are to be set for customers, and the number allowed in must not exceed 50% of the restaurant’s capacity. Tables are to be set 2 metres apart, and social distancing is to be practised by customers.

Workers are required to undergo Covid-19 screening and to wear face masks.

The names and telephone numbers of all customers will be recorded for contact tracing if needed, and they will be advised to wear face masks.

Last week the state had announced the reopening of dine-in services at about 900 establishments last week in shopping malls, hotels and franchise restaurants.

The additional premises comprise 3,200 under the jurisdiction of the Penang Island city council and 5,592 premises under the Seberang Perai council.

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