No dine-in, no self-service laundrette, but e-commerce allowed


  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 18 Mar 2020

PETALING JAYA: There will strictly be no dining-in at all restaurants and food outlets, but eateries are allowed to stay open for takeaways and deliveries under the movement control order (MCO), says Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry.

All self-service laundrette must be shut down and supermarkets in departmental stores are only allowed to open sections that sell food and essential goods.

In a list of frequently asked questions released by the National Security Council (NSC), the ministry stated that some companies would be allowed to store more than the allowed quota on its licence but this would be determined on a case-by-case basis.

"The distribution centres which involve essential daily needs and foods, including e-commerce warehouse and supporting warehousing services, are allowed to operate as usual.

"Restaurants/ready-to-eat sections/bakeries will be allowed to open but only for takeaways, drive-thru, and deliveries by companies such as Grab Food and Food Panda. Dine-in and eat-in are nor allowed.

"Food courts can remain open but only for takeaways or delivery by companies such as Grab Food or Food Panda. Only tenants in the pharmaceutical and clinical industry are allowed to remain operational in a hypermarket," said the ministry.

The MCO, which goes into effect from March 18 to March 31, was announced by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to contain the Covid-19 pandemic.

FAQs on the retail industry under the MCO

1. Will the operation of distribution centres be allowed to operate as usual?

The distribution centres which involve essential daily needs and foods including e-commerce warehouse and supporting warehousing services are allowed to operate as usual.

2. Will restaurants, ready-to-eat sections/ bakeries be allowed to operate?

Restaurants/ ready-to-eat sections/bakeries will be allowed to be open but only for takeaways, drive-thru, delivery by companies such as Grab Food and Food Panda. Dine-in and eat-in are nor allowed.

3. Will food courts continue to operate as usual in hypermarkets?

Food courts can remain open but only for takeaways or delivery by companies such as Grab Food or Food Panda. Dine-in and eat-in are not allowed. Only tenants in the pharmaceutical and clinical industry are allowed to remain operational in a hypermarket.

4. What about retail industries which are anchor tenants in shopping malls?

The operation of retail (food and essential daily needs) in shopping malls can be continued through discussions between the tenant and owner of premises.

5. What about operations of restaurants, sundry shops and variety shops in specialty stores?

They are allowed to be open but only for takeaways, drive-thru, delivery by companies such as Grab Food and Food Panda. Dine-in and eat-in are nor allowed.

6. Will operations of headquarters of retail companies be allowed to continue?

The head offices of the retail companies are allowed to continue as usual. However, the management needs to identify the sectors/units/departments which needs to be classified as essential to be present at the head office premises. Those from the non-essential sectors/units/departments should be allowed to work from home.

7. Will the Ministry issue statements to restrict the purchase amount made by consumers?

The Ministry encourages retail industry to do self-restriction in handling the purchase of foods and essential daily needs in unnecessary amounts by consumers.

8. What about the operations of departmental stores which include supermarkets, home furnishings, fashion goods and food courts?

Only supermarkets sections which sell foodstuffs and essential daily needs are allowed to operate in departmental stores.

9. Can self-service laundrettes be allowed to operate?

Self-service laundrettes are not allowed to operate throughout the MCO period to stop the gathering of people.

10. Will security guards be still stationed at supermarkets?

Security services will be continued.

11. Is e-commerce considered a part of essential services?

Yes.

12. Will online purchases, delivery and fixing at home of customers be allowed?

Yes.

13. Will customer call centres be allowed to continue to operate?

Yes.

14. Will the renovation of business premises be allowed to continue?

All renovations and works on business premises must be put on hold. If there are safety issues, the company has to get the permission of the Works Ministry and Constructions Industry Development Board for works to be carried out.

15. Are non-food items deliveries such as sanitary pads considered essential services?

Yes.

16. Will stores at airports be affected?

Only tenants in the industries of pharmaceutical and clinical, supermarkets, sundry shops and variety shops selling essential daily items will be allowed to operate at airports. No dine-in and eat-in.

17. Are third party service providers allowed to operate ?

Services which impact directly to safety and supply are allowed to continue. Consumers and third party service providers must take health precautions with sanitisers and face masks.

18. Will garbage collection at supermarkets and sundry shops be allowed to operate?

Yes.

19. Can quota of rice, sugar, cooking oil and flour be stored more than allowed in the quota licence?

Companies must adhere to quota licence issued by authorities. It will be determined on a case-to-case basis.

20 Will there be night markets and farmer’s markets (pasar tani)?

No.

Prepared by Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry.

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