Thursday, June 24, 2021

Two-hour limit for customers at retail premises including shopping malls

This is among the tightened SOPs to come into force on May 25.

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Customers will be allowed to spend a maximum of two hours at all retail premises including shopping complexes beginning May 25, says Domestic Trade and Customer Affairs Minister Alexander Nanta Linggi.

He said this was among the updated SOPs for the trade sector including retail, wholesale and distribution following the announcement by Senior Minister for Defence Ismail Sabri Yaakob to tighten the implementation of the movement control order (MCO).

Another updated SOP concerns the operating hours of the distributive trade sector, which includes all retail, wholesale and distribution premises as well as restaurants, which have been shortened to 8am to 8pm.

“For pharmacy and personal care outlets, the hours remain from 8am to 10pm except activities which are not allowed, such as spa and wellness, as well as manicure and pedicure services,” Nanta said in a statement today.

Nanta said other improvements to be implemented include a rule to limit the total number of customers at retail premises including shopping complexes at any time, based on the space of business premises with a rule of one person for every four square metres.

Employee limits at all retail, wholesale, distribution and shopping complexes, including management, operation and support staff is fixed at 60%, he said.

Retail premises listed under the Hotspot Identification for Dynamic Engagement (HIDE) system which are still at high-risk levels after assessment by the health ministry will be closed immediately for three days for sanitisation, he said.

“The improvement and additional restrictions will only be enforced from May 25 nationwide,” said Nanta, who also asked industry players in the distributive sector to ensure SOP compliance by staff and customers.

“Business premises owners must always be proactive, alert and constantly ensure SOP compliance at the maximum level to ensure the safety of their premises and the public,” he said.

Nanta said the domestic trade and consumer affairs ministry would mobilise 2,262 enforcement officers nationwide to ensure compliance with the tightened SOPs at all related premises.

“Enforcement officers will also intensify inspections at business premises including during weekends and holidays,” he said.

He said the ministry as one of the agencies empowered to enforce the MCO under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act 342) would not compromise in taking stringent action, including issuing compounds.

“The ministry will also not hesitate to propose to the National Security Council to immediately close any premise found not adhering to the tightened MCO SOPs,” he said.

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