PUTRAJAYA, Nov 23 — Restaurants and eateries are now permitted to operate until midnight to satisfy customers’ demands, Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said today as the conditional movement control order (CMCO) in most states drags on.

He said the National Security Council (NSC) agreed to the new operational hours in today’s meeting, following complaints by the public online and from restaurateurs’ associations.

“It appears the earlier 10pm mandatory closing time had a major effect, especially on Muslims who finish their Ishak prayers and want to eat, as they arrive at 9pm but must leave by 10pm,” Ismail said during his press conference.

The new ruling on operational hours will also include convenience stores, sundry goods stores especially in small towns and petrol stations as well. It will come into effect tomorrow.

Early this month, the NSC updated the standard operating procedures (SOP) for public areas in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya, following the imposition of the CMCO on Klang Valley and Sabah.

The SOPs stipulated that restaurant, food stalls, food trucks, roadside stalls, hawkers, food courts, kiosks, sundry goods store and convenience stores could only operate from 6am to 10pm.

Similarly, morning markets could only operate from 6am to 2pm, while for wholesale markets, it was from 12am to 5pm.

Farmers’ markets are allowed to operate from 6am to 12pm, while night markets from 4pm to 10pm.