MCO: No change in SOP during Ramadan, eateries to remain closed for sahur

23 Apr 2020 / 16:35 H.

PETALING JAYA: The standard operating procedures (SOP), including the operating hours for eateries, will remain largely the same during Ramadan, under the movement control order (MCO).

This means restaurants, food delivery services and supermarkets, are still only allowed to operate from 8am to 8pm.

Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob (pix) said the only two changes to the current SOP would be to the opening hours for markets and the operation of public transportations.

The Senior Minister (Defence) said this was minimise movement on the road and to ensure the public do not take advantage of the SOP changes.

“There have been a lot questions on the SOP during the fasting month, whether it will be different to the current one.

“In terms of restaurants and eateries, the SOP will be the same pre-Ramadan,” he told a press conference that was broadcast live today.

The announcement could prove to be an inconvenience for many Malaysians, who would have preferred to order or purchase food for their morning sahur (pre-dawn meal).

Previously, some restaurant owners have asked the government to allow them to operate temporarily before dawn, while others have pushed for extended hours, past 8pm, to cater to those who wish to buy food for sahur.

“If we extend the restaurant hours to 10pm for example, even those who are not buying food will use this excuse, just to be out from home.

“We can’t imagine how many more people will be on the road, that is why we are maintaining the hours. If you want to buy food for sahur, make sure you buy earlier,” Ismail said.

According to the minister, markets could open for an extra two hours, until 2pm, to allow the public more time to purchase raw ingredients and wet food.

Public transport, meanwhile, will operate from 4pm to 10pm in the evening, compared to 5pm to 10pm previously, to cater to those who are allowed to leave office earlier during Ramadan.

Ismail also reiterated that no one would be allowed to return to their respective hometowns during Ramadan, as long as the MCO is in place.

“What we allow is those who went to their hometowns before the MCO was imposed on March 18, and are now seeking to return home.

“Even so, no final decision has been made. But they can notify the nearest police station or inform through online beginning April 25, so we can have a clearer picture how many we are expecting to travel back to the cities,” he said.

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