Eateries allowed to open until 6am during Ramadan, says Ismail Sabri

PETALING JAYA: Eateries will be allowed to operate beyond midnight during the month of Ramadan to allow those fasting to buy food for sahur (pre-dawn meal), says Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

The Senior Minister (Security) said the government received many requests from food operators to be allowed to operate beyond the midnight closing time and the government has agreed to allow them to go on operating until 6am or a time set by local authorities.

"This will allow people, especially those who are still single, to go out and buy food for sahur. Both takeaway and dine-ins are allowed," he said on Monday (April 12).

He also said buka puasa (breaking of fast) functions and religious activities at mosques such as terawih prayers will also be allowed this Ramadan under strict SOP.

He said tables at premises hosting Ramadan buffets must be placed about 2m from each other.

"In conditional MCO areas, the number of guests allowed at a venue is only up to 50% of the usual capacity but full capacity is allowed in recovery MCO areas, provided SOP and social distancing are practised," he said.

Ismail Sabri said organisers also need to clearly mark the entrance and exit points at venues, prepare tools to record guest details and their temperatures, as well as carry out disinfection before and after an event.

He also recommended that several buffet stations are prepared to avoid overcrowding and waiters should be on hand to serve food to guests.

"It would be better if dishes were placed in serving domes at tables but if that cannot be done, we recommend that waiters dish out the food to guests at the buffet line," he said.

Ismail Sabri also said prayers at mosques and surau (prayer rooms) are allowed under strict SOP and the congregation is recommended to bring their own prayer mats.

He added that while the Federal Government has set rules for religious activities, state religious authorities can still set their own rules as religious matters come under the jurisdictions of state religious departments.

Separately, Ismail Sabri said Kg Meruntum in Putatan, Sabah has been placed under enhanced MCO from April 13 to 26 following rising infections there.

He also said 101 people were served with compounds on Sunday (April 11) while 10 more have been detained for flouting SOP.

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