Penang’s first phase of dine-in services to start on Friday

DINING in at food outlets will be allowed in phases in Penang beginning Friday.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said under the first phase which starts on Friday, only hotels, shopping malls and fast food franchises will be allowed to provide dine-in services.

“The eateries have to adhere to the guidelines which will be announced by the Penang Island City Council (MBPP) and Seberang Prai City Council (MBSP) in coordination with the state Health Department.

“As for the food premises of other categories, based on advice from the state Health Department, the permission to dine-in will be sorted out in Phase Two and therefore, it is still not allowed,” he said in a Covid-19 live Facebook message yesterday.

Chow said that several issues were agreed upon in the state Special Security Committee meeting yesterday.

“Beginning May 13, Penang will be entering the Penang Gradual Recovery Strategy (PGRS).

“All sectors and activities allowed by the Federal Government under the conditional movement control order (MCO) will be allowed in Penang, subject to the standard operating procedure (SOP) issued.

He said the SOP regarding screening tests on workers at construction sites and the manufacturing sector will be streamlined before being announced in the near future.

The streamlining of the SOP will be done by the state executive council, local authorities (PBT), Social Security Organisation (Perkeso), Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB), Department of Occupational Health Malaysia (DOSH), Penang National Security Council (MKN) together with the state Health Department as the technical advisor.

Chow said Penang City Park, Relau Metropolitan Park and the Botanical Garden on the island, Vision Park, Mengkuang Dam, Kamloon Beach recreation park, Air Itam Dalam educational forest, Cherok Tokun National Park, Panchor Hill forest reserve and Bukit Juru forest reserve on the mainland will remain closed.

“Sports complexes, stadiums and public halls will be closed and recreational activities are limited to residential neighbourhoods and pocket parks in housing areas,” he said.

Chow said that for congregational prayers, the state government will use the SOPs set by the Federal Government for all religions.

“As for the Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebrations, we took into account the advice by the Health Department director who did not encourage more than seven guests at flats and apartments.

“Although Penang is classified as a green state, screening tests are still ongoing for those involved in high-risk groups such as madrasah and tahfiz schools, foreigners, caretakers at senior citizens care centres and traders at 35 markets in the state,” he said.

Chow also outlined the four primary missions of the Penang Next Normal Strategy namely — Containing the pandemic, Adapting our institution to the next normal, Rescuing people and the economy and Empowering the community (C.A.R.E).

“All state executive councillors, departments and agencies should plan their actions accordingly to the C.A.R.E missions,” he said.
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