GEORGE TOWN: Workers in restaurants and food outlets that are open for dine-in need not be fully vaccinated.
Clarifying the confusion, George Town OCPD Asst Comm Soffian Santong said the National Security Council (NSC) was very clear that only customers must be fully vaccinated and not the workers.
“However, the restaurants should display how many of their workers are fully vaccinated and customers can make their choice (whether) to eat at a particular outlet.
“The NSC standard operating procedure is very clear on this and there should not be any confusion on dine-ins at restaurants,” he said.
Restaurants and food outlets welcomed the clarification, saying it was timely as many workers were young and it would take some time before they got vaccination appointments.
“It is good news for us as I have 15 workers in my four restaurants, and they are mostly in their 20s and 30s,” said Super Hot Plate restaurant owner Warren Tan.
“We can’t wait for all of them to be fully vaccinated before opening as we have been doing takeaways for some time, which is actually not ideal for sizzling hot plates and steamboat.”
Tan said the restaurant’s takeaway menu had to be tweaked by substituting hot plate dishes with Japanese bento sets.
Restaurant Hameediyah director Muhammad Riyaaz Syed Ibrahim said it was a practical move as food outlets could not continue with takeaway orders only.
“Let customers make the choice to eat wherever they want as we will still strictly enforce the SOP for dining in,” he said.
A check by The Star yesterday found that few food courts in market complexes on Penang island were open for business.
Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow is expected to give a statement on the issue today.
State local government committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo said the state exco, which met yesterday, was in consensus that workers must be fully vaccinated.
“It doesn’t make sense for customers to be fully vaccinated and not the workers.”