Eateries unsure about mandatory SOP

Here you go: staff providing customers with face masks at a restaurant in Church street, George Town.

GEORGE TOWN: Many eateries are still confused about the mandatory standard operating procedure (SOP) after the authorities announced that face masks will be compulsory at public places and crowded areas from today.

Some were not sure if social distancing had to be taken up a notch, which included fewer patrons at any one time, while others were unsure of the size of tables based on the number of people who could be seated.

Some cafes, on the other hand, have decided to play it extra safe by providing face masks and adhering to social distancing at all times.

Jeff Lau, who is a partner of a cafe here, had taken extra measures to ensure his cafe complied with all the new SOP.

“Those who visit must wear a mask. We also sell face masks at our cafe – at the government-regulated price – to those who do not have one.“We have a poster outside indicating that one must wear a face mask when they are not eating.

“Our cafe can serve over 120 customers at any one time but we have halved the number. Our tables that can seat eight people now seat four, while tables that can seat four now seat only two, ” he said when met at his cafe on Thursday.

Lau, who has been running the cafe for five years, said his staff would remind patrons to wear masks while waiting for their meals to be served, as well as after they had eaten.

A manager of a cafe along Karpal Singh Drive, who declined to be named, said he was still confused about the new SOP.

“We do know that people must wear face masks and if our customers do not have one, we will direct them to the nearest shop or provide them with a mask.

“We are, however, still unsure about seating arrangements as they said a round table can seat three people, but what is the size of the round table? They did not specify the size, ” he said.

“For now, we will just make sure our customers wear face masks unless they are eating.”

At a restaurant along Church Street here, manager M. Sara said they had been providing masks to customers who did not wear one.

“Then, when the government eased the rules, we stopped providing masks and left it to the customers.

“Now, we will go back to ensuring that customers who forget their face masks are equipped with one.

“We have halved our capacity from 38 to 19. We are well prepared, ” he said.

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