Dine-in service in Penang allowed only for some eateries


  • Nation
  • Saturday, 16 May 2020

Finally out: Some dine-in customers looking at the menu at a restaurant in Penang.

GEORGE TOWN: To some Penangites, it feels like a very long time since they went out for a meal at their favourite restaurants.While most of the country has been able to dine in at restaurants since May 4, Penang only followed suit from yesterday.

Penang’s eateries in shopping malls, hotels and fast food franchises were allowed to accept dine-in customers, whose delight was obvious.

At restaurants with seats and tables marked with tape for social distancing, families came out for the luxury of “having-here” meals, even if they had to sit apart.

Eateries that accept dine-in customers put up notices announcing the maximum number of customers at any one time and the precautionary measures to be observed.

As is the standard operating procedure nationwide, each customer’s temperature is scanned, personal details recorded and hand sanitisers are made available.

A staff member at a popular eatery said people seemed willing to adhere to the new rules.

“It was difficult for us to space things out and put tape on each table and chair but we had to do it. We want people to feel safe and still enjoy their meals.

“So far, there have not been many customers but we expect this to increase over the next few days, ” he said.

However, not all eateries were ready for dine-in customers.

A worker at a fast food chain said they received instructions from higher management to only offer takeaways.

“We were not given clearance, although we are prepared to comply with the rules.

“When a directive is given to reopen for dine-ins, we will place more tape and continue with our temperature checks and hand sanitisation, ” she said.

The state, under its Penang Gradual Recovery Strategy, only allowed food establishments in hotels, shopping malls and fast food franchises to reopen for dine-ins.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow announced yesterday that all other eateries would be allowed to serve dine-in customers from Monday.

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