Covid-19: In Sabah, still no final word on whether dine-in now allowed under Phase One

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Coffee shops in Sabah were left confused as conflicting news and orders on whether dine-in is allowed as of today. ― Picture by Julia Chan
Coffee shops in Sabah were left confused as conflicting news and orders on whether dine-in is allowed as of today. ― Picture by Julia Chan

KOTA KINABALU, June 29 — After a day of confusion and inconsistencies, Sabahans will still have to wait for the final word on dine-in allowances as the state announced that detailed standard operating procedures (SOPS) are still in the process of being gazetted.

In his daily statement, Sabah Covid 19 spokesman Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun said that state secretary Datuk Safar Untong will be issuing a separate statement on the latest SOPs for Sabah in Phase One of the national recovery plan.

“The state Covid 19 disaster management committee, chaired by the state secretary had unanimously decided on the relaxation of SOPs for the next phase for recovery. The committee consists of heads of department from the health department, police force and the National Security Council who have also endorsed it.

“The state has presented the new SOPs to the federal government and is waiting for the SOPs to be gazetted,” he said in his statement.

He, however, did not say when the SOPs would be issued.

Yesterday, Hajiji announced that the dine-in at eateries in Sabah would be allowed again from today under Phase One of the state’s recovery plan.

He also said barber shops, roadside stalls for vegetables, fish and fruits are allowed to open for business. The same with rubber, cement and paint, furniture and woodwork manufacturers.

He added that non-contact sports and recreational activities like golfing, fishing and cycling will also be allowed, contrary to the NSC’s rules for the country.

However, the state government did not release any new SOPs for the reopening of these sectors, triggering statewide confusion this morning.

Some coffee shops that opened for dine-in removed their tables and chairs after patrolling Health officials told them they were not allowed to do so despite the announcement.

Putrajaya’s Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob later said that all states have been asked to follow the national SOP and not make their own rules.

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