Despite faltering SOP compliance, Sabah to extend hours for food outlets and petrol stations
Sabah Covid-19 spokesman Datuk Masidi Manjun says the state will adhere to the National Security Council’s decision to allow extended operating hours for eateries and petrol stations. — Bernama pic

KOTA KINABALU, Jan 22 ― Sabah will adhere to the National Security Council’s decision to allow extended operating hours for eateries and petrol stations.

Sabah Covid-19 spokesman Datuk Masidi Manjun said the state will abide by the extension and allow restaurants, eateries, food trucks, sidewalk hawkers, mobile hawkers, food courts, stalls and correspondingly, food delivery services, to open for an added two hours from 6am to 10pm starting immediately.

“However, they are only allowed to provide take-away, drive through and delivery services,” he said.

Petrol stations in the state will also be allowed the same operating hours.

Masidi said that the state would take note of any requests from the industry operators to allow dine-in for limited numbers of two people, but that it was unlikely to be allowed for now.

“We are regulating people allowed in vehicles now just to go and obtain essentials. If we open up restaurants for dine-in it is akin to encouraging people to travel to the towns and cities and defeats the purpose of reducing congestion and we are trying to discourage that,” he said.

Earlier, Masidi told the press conference that the statewide compliance rate has been declining.

Today, the compliance rate was 92.25 per cent on average across the state, the highest being in Sipitang with 94 per cent and the lowest is Sandakan, Kota Kinabalu, Penampang, Lahad Datu and Tawau at 91 per cent.

“The low compliance rate today is attributed to parents and guardians who take advantage of the trip to send their kids to school to go shopping, causing an increase in vehicles and movement in the town areas.

“Authorities are taking this seriously and are encouraging the public to continue to comply with the SOPs that are in place and continue to only go out to buy essentials within a 10km radius,” he said.

At the beginning of the conditional movement control order (CMCO) last year, compliance rates started at 99 per cent but have gradually decreased as the public became more lax.

Sabah today recorded a total 453 new cases, an increase of 52 from yesterday.