Shopping and dining with caution

PETALING JAYA: With the Klang Valley turning a corner and entering Phase Two of the National Recovery Plan (NRP), shoppers and diners remain cautious about their newfound freedom.

A quick check on the ground found that many patrons at shopping complexes or dining in at restaurants kept to the relevant standard operating procedure (SOP).

At shopping malls, they were required to display their digital vaccination certificate and a “low risk” status on the MySejahtera app before being allowed entry to retail stores or eateries.

They were seen practising physical distancing and wearing face masks, with many also double masking or using face shields as they went about their business.

A shopper, who wanted to be known only as Aisyah, said the measures taken by the malls and authorities assured her it was safe to go shopping.

“Today is my first time dining in at a restaurant (for a while), and everything has been well thus far.

“The staff requested I display proof of my full inoculation and carefully managed the crowd to maintain physical distancing between customers,” she said.

Another shopper who wanted to be known only as Imran had a similar experience.

“The attention to detail shown by the staff was both impressive and necessary in keeping all of us safe,” he said.

Food courts were well occupied, albeit with physical distancing measures in place.

Zhou Management operations manager Felix Koh, 31, said the response from the public at its restaurants had been good since the decision to allow dine-in for the fully vaccinated.

“Our fully vaccinated patrons were delighted with the announcement and have resumed dining at our premises.

“We have also noticed a trend of increasing sales on a weekly basis across all our restaurants since the resumption of dine-in services.

“With the Klang Valley now in Phase Two of the NRP, we are further expecting our business to pick up,” he said when met during the reopening of a branch in Bangsar.

Koh added that all restaurants under his supervision practised stringent checks to ensure compliance with government directives.

Meanwhile, some members of the public remain cautious.

Graphic designer Jonathan Lau Junn Kitt, 28, said he was still hesitant despite the SOP relaxation.

“The high number of daily cases and presence of the Delta variant is a cause for concern.

“I live with my family, so minimising my time outside can reduce our risk of exposure to the virus,” he added.

Sales representative Mohd Nazmi Mohd Zuki expressed similar concerns and was in no hurry to go out there.

“Although I am fully vaccinated, my wife and newborn child are not, hence I avoid going out unnecessarily. Until there is a drop in the total number of cases, coupled with an increase in the nationwide vaccination rate, I will continue living remotely and only leave home when necessary,” said the 29-year-old based in Petaling Jaya.

Operations assistant manager Jonnath Tan said that as long as the number of Covid-19 cases hovered near the 20,000 mark, he would think twice before going out.

“Activities for the fully vaccinated such as dining in and watching movies are a privilege but not a necessity at the moment.

“I will continue staying home as much as possible to play my part in lessening the burden on our nation and frontliners in combating this pandemic,” he said.

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