A WEEK after the Penang Island City Council banned dining-in at temporary roadside stalls during the Kew Ong Yeah or Nine Emperor Gods Festival, the state special security committee overruled the decision.
Now, people will be allowed to eat at these stalls with strict standard operating procedures (SOPs) to be followed.
Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the committee agreed to allow several businesses to extend their operations after a meeting.
“Local authorities will allow patrons to dine in within the Nine Emperor God festival tents with full SOP compliance.
“Businesses with public entertainment licences will be allowed to operate up to midnight while 24-hour convenience stores can operate until 2am, ” he said in a statement.
Chow added that the committee had also decided on new rules focusing on returnees from Covid-19 yellow and red zones.
“With the emergence of the Ara cluster on Sept 20 and given the the current situation in the state, the committee highly recommends that everybody returning from Sabah should undergo swab tests at government clinics or private health institutions under their own initiative.
“It is my hope that together, we can develop a responsible attitude.
“We want all individuals concerned to undergo Covid-19 tests as an initial step to curb the spread not only among close family members but the community as well, ” Chow added.
The Nine Emperor Gods Festival will begin on Oct 17 and end on Oct 25 this year.
The festival is held on the first day of the ninth lunar month.
It is observed with much reverence by the Taoist community in the country.
During the nine-day celebration, devotees will go on a strict vegetarian diet.
The festival pays homage to the Goddess of the North Star, believed to control the Books of Life and Death.
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