Sabah govt reverts to 7am-7pm opening hours for F&B businesses after outcry

The latest announcement means businesses like restaurants, cafes, stall operators, food trucks, food courts, delivery services as well as supermarkets can return to opening between 7am and 7pm daily. — Picture by Hari Anggara
The latest announcement means businesses like restaurants, cafes, stall operators, food trucks, food courts, delivery services as well as supermarkets can return to opening between 7am and 7pm daily. — Picture by Hari Anggara

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KOTA KINABALU, June 7 — Barely 24 hours after telling businesses — including those serving food and drinks — to open only between 9am and 6pm, the Sabah government rescinded the directive.

“The state government has taken note of feedback from various parties, and have made the necessary adjustments,” Sabah Covid-19 spokesman Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun said in a statement this evening.

The latest announcement means businesses like restaurants, cafes, stall operators, food trucks, food courts, delivery services as well as supermarkets can return to opening between 7am and 7pm daily.

The operation hours for markets remain unchanged, from 6am to 3pm.

Fuel stations can operate till 8pm whereas all professional service firms like accountants, lawyers, auditors, architects, surveyors and other services can only work between 9am and 5pm. Banks and financial services can work from 8.30am to 5.30pm.

Last night, the state government abruptly announced shorter operating hours for eateries to take place today. Initially it was from 9am to 5pm, and then changed to 9am to 6pm.

The state government said this was to further limit movement following a two-day increase in local Covid-19 cases and clusters as well to standardise all business operating hours but this drew objections from many food operators who said limiting operations to just nine hours daily hurt their businesses.

At the same time, the state government also banned travel between Kota Kinabalu and Penampang and Putatan on its outskirts, considering it interdistrict. Those exempt were essential service workers and in cases of emergencies.

Today, the state reported 336 new Covid-19 infections, an increase of 31 cases from yesterday, and four new clusters.

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