A week into MCO 2.0, minister now says govt mulling extending diners’ operating hours to 10pm

Kenneth Tee
·2-min read
Customers queue for takeaway at Hakim Nasi Kandar, Shah Alam January 13, 2021. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
Customers queue for takeaway at Hakim Nasi Kandar, Shah Alam January 13, 2021. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 19 — The government is discussing whether to revise the operating hours for eateries in states placed under the latest implementation of the movement control order dubbed MCO 2.0, Federal Territories Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa said today.

Taking to Twitter, Annuar said both the National Security Council (NSC) and the Ministry of Health (MOH) are currently studying the pros and cons of allowing eateries to operate until 10pm than the 8pm stipulated under the current MCO standard operating procedures (SOP).

“NSC and MOH are studying the pros and cons of eateries opening until 10pm. Any developments will surely be announced by Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob...Covid-19 is getting more widespread.

“Limit movement, obey and enforce the SOP,” he said.

On January 12, Senior Minister Ismail had announced that a majority of businesses, eateries, and shops will be allowed to operate from 6am to 8pm daily under the MCO.

Dining in is prohibited, with orders limited to takeaways or drive-throughs.

Last week, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had announced that the MCO would be reintroduced in all Federal Territories and several other states until January 26.

However restaurateurs and the public have urged the government to reconsider an extension to the operating hours, citing the extra hours would allow operators to get as much business as possible from takeaway and delivery orders since dining-in is not allowed.

Yesterday, a group of 21 Opposition MPs urged the Perikatan Nasional government today to review its SOPs and allow food and beverage outlets to remain in business past 8pm.

The MPs said this is particularly important as dining-in remains prohibited under the ongoing MCO with only take-aways permitted, which affects consumers and traders alike.

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