Uggah (centre) speaking during the press conference as Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian (left) and State Health Department (JKNS) director Dr Chin Zin Hing look on. (Photo: UKAS)

KUCHING:Petrol stations and factories in Kuching, Samarahan and Serian are exempted from the restricted business operation hours of 6am to 10pm, which comes into effective on Saturday (1st Aug).

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas reiterated that the operation hours for businesses in Zone 1 covering Kuching, Samarahan and Serian would be limited from 6am to 10pm.

“However, petrol stations and factories are allowed to operate as usual. The operators will have to notify the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) of their decision,” he said at the SDMC Covid-19 daily update press conference today.

He said that petrol stations and factories would be allowed to operate for 24 hours if that was their usual operation hours.

He added that if members of the public were out after 10pm to refuel their vehicles, they would not be arrested.

Nevertheless, he said that the police may take action depending on the situation — “If you are grouping with two or three people at the coffee shop without social distancing, then they will take action.”

He explained that the reason for shortening business hours, including 24-hour stores such as 7-Eleven, was to allow enforcement authorities to intensity enforcement while also increasing public awareness of the situation — which is not back to normal yet.

“We hope that with all these measures, the curve will be flattened,” said Uggah, who is also SDMC chairman.

Meanwhile, he also advised against sporting activities such as cycling after 10pm.

“We are not in normal circumstances. Everyone needs to sacrifice one way or another,” he urged.