We just have to be patient, say shoppers surprised by mall closures

Caught off-guard: Shoppers standing outside the north entrance to Queensbay Mall after being turned away.

GEORGE TOWN: Businesswoman Jean Ang headed to a mall to pick up her new contact lenses but she was stopped by the security guard and told that the mall had to close for three days for sanitisation.

“It looks like I’ll have to be patient for a few more days, ” said Ang, 28.

She was among the shoppers who were unaware that three shopping malls here had been listed in the Hotspot Identification for Dynamic Engagement (HIDE) system used by the government to detect Covid-19 hotspots.

“I’ll just have to wear my glasses for the next few days and come back when the mall reopens, ” said Ang.

A check at the mall’s entrance yesterday found many shoppers caught by surprise by the closure, with the security guard having to explain to them about it.

A woman who declined to be named said her husband had dropped her off to shop.

“Now, I have to hail a car to go elsewhere to get groceries, ” she said.

At another mall, shoppers were also surprised to find the mall shut.

Merilyn Chambers, 60, said she did know about the mall being listed under HIDE.

“I thought I would try my luck as Sundays are usually when I stock up on groceries.

“We live nearby so it’s all right. We’ll just head to another mall. We understand that they are just being careful and protecting us from the risk of getting Covid-19, ” she said.

Gurney Paragon Mall and Queensbay Mall issued statements informing shoppers that they would be closed until tomorrow for sanitising work.

Meanwhile, a check on several tourist attractions on the island confirmed that they will close under the movement control order from today.

At Entopia by Penang Butterfly Farm, its chief executive officer Joseph Goh said they would be shuttered until May 23.

As for Escape theme park chief executive officer Sim Choo Kheng, he said:

“It saddens me because the future of the tourism industry will have to rely on new entrepreneurs, ” he said, expecting many tourism businesses to close for good soon.

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HIDE , shopping malls , penang , covid-19 , mco


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