Al-fresco dining among suggestions being looked into, say Reezal Merican


PUTRAJAYA: Allowing restaurants to set up tables outside their premises is among suggestions that are being looked into by the Housing and Local Government Ministry.

Its minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican (pic) said a guideline is being prepared by his ministry to be presented at the National Security Council meeting for evaluation before the matter is announced.

“A complete guideline will then be forwarded to state governments to be implemented by local authorities to ensure uniformity.

“This is important especially to facilitate the business operations of restaurant operators who have other outlets and branches elsewhere,” he said on Wednesday (Sept 22).

Reezal said that the ministry is also discussing with the Occupational Safety and Health Department (DOSH) on providing clear guidelines on ventilation systems in restaurants that are fully air-conditioned and also those that cannot provide pavement seating.

“The ministry welcomes and will consider positive suggestions that can benefit the people,” he said.

Reezal was responding to a Facebook post by former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who suggested that restaurant operators should be given the leeway to provide tables for their dine-in customers outside their premises.

This, said Najib, would lessen the risk of Covid-19 infection as there will be better ventilation compared to sitting inside the restaurant in an enclosed area.

“With the opening of more restaurants, I hope that local authorities will quickly come out with guidelines for those who want to set up tables outside,” said the former premier.

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