GEORGE TOWN: As the weekend comes to an end, shops found themselves facing strict enforcement over their compliance to Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs).
Many shops on Sunday (Aug 23) on the island were ordered to close when authorities found that they failed to control the weekend crowd piling into their premises.
Penang Island City Council and state Health Department enforcers found a crowded nasi kandar outlet that is popular with tourists.
Without sufficient crowd control strategies, enforcers found it packed with customers and ordered the restaurant to close.
“We had too many customers coming. We had Rela volunteers helping us but it was still not enough. We will comply with the order to close and tomorrow, our staff will redesign our seating arrangements and make sure we comply with Covid-19 precautions, ” the restaurant owner told reporters.
Even a decades-old roti canai shop at the edge of the heritage enclave was ordered to close when too many weekend holiday-makers thronged the place.
In Karpal Singh Drive, a convenience store with a long queue of customers waiting outside was ordered to close when enforcers found that 25 customers were allowed into the store at a time instead of the usual 15.
All the shops were ordered to close for a week to get their Covid-19 standard operating procedures in order.
Penang has been suffering from Covid-19 clusters that originate in Kedah and northern Perak.
The state enjoyed an absence of infections for more than 100 days until a few new cases started mushrooming here and these were traced to clusters from the neighbouring states.