Recently, the government decided that those who have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 are allowed to dine in at states and federal territories that have already moved on to at least Phase Two of the National Recovery Plan.
However, workers in restaurants and food outlets that are open for dine-in need not be fully vaccinated, according to The Star.
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.
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.
Meanwhile, Penang’s 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,” he said.
Backing up the sentiment, Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow suggested that restaurant operators and their employees should receive at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, while those who had not been vaccinated should wait until they receive their vaccine jabs before being allowed to serve customers.
“At the moment, we believe that this may work, but for safety concerns, we ask the MKN to review the guidelines again,” he told reporters at the Penang Saring Covid-19 (PSC-19) programme, today (12 Aug).