SMC food operators encouraged to wear face masks

Posted on 03 Jan 2023
Source of News: The Borneo Post (Peter Boon)

Albert Tiang
Albert Tiang

SIBU (Jan 3): Food operators and those employed at hawker centres including the night market under Sibu Municipal Council’s (SMC) are encouraged to wear face masks during business operation hours even though such requirement has been lifted, said Cr Albert Tiang.

Tiang, who is SMC Market and Petty Traders Standing Committee chairman, pointed out that the majority of those involved have been observed to be wearing face masks.

“After the mandatory mask wearing policy was lifted, we continued to encourage all food operators to continue wearing a mask within the business operation hours.

“Most of them have been giving their full cooperation,” he told The Borneo Post yesterday.

Tiang was asked if there were any plans for SMC to require food operators and those employed to mask up again, in view that workers at food and beverage (F&B) outlets in Selangor are required to mask up again from Jan 1 this year.

New Straits Times had reported Selayang Municipal Council (MPS) as saying that the ruling would apply to all food handlers and cooks, regardless of whether they work in restaurants or hawker centres.

“Compound fines will be imposed on those who disregard this directive, which is also a requirement for obtaining a business licence,” MPS said in a Facebook post.

According to Tiang, there is no directive from the Ministry of Public Health, Housing and Local Government to make mask-wearing compulsory for F&B operators.

“However, I see the majority of food operators at hawker centres (under SMC’s jurisdiction) are still wearing masks. We will reconsider if such need arises over the next few weeks or months,” he added.

He noted that masking up for food handlers is not only for a hygienic purpose but also to curb the spread of Covid-19.

“If such initiative is to serve the public health and interests, then I believe the move is timely and right,” he said.