RESTRICTION OF BUSINESS HOURS
KUCHING: The restriction of business hours from 6am to 10pm has come into effect starting from yesterday. The restriction will be enforced until August 14 and is applicable to the businesses that operate in Kuching, Samarahan, and Serian.
The Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) said that this restriction excluded petrol stations and factories, which will be allowed to operate according to their usual hours.
However, even 24-hour establishments such as 7-Eleven and McDonald’s will have to follow the state’s regulation.
While this may hamper local businesses, especially smaller enterprises which have already been dealt a hard blow in the earlier movement control order (MCO), it is a necessary move in light of the recent rise in positive Covid-19 cases in these divisions.
Syamsul Bahri, 30, McDonald’s Plaza Merdeka manager
Outlets such as the one I manage are less affected as they follow the respective mall operation hours from 10am to 10pm. At this time, most people tend to use drive-thru for safety purposes. The number of walk-in patrons had seen a decrease while drive-thru customers had increased. We also still do deliveries such as via FoodPanda and GrabFood.
Hadani Marzuki, 29, 7-Eleven store manager
7-Eleven would also be following the 6am to 10pm ruling set by the state government, even though it is a 24-hour convenience store.
Rahaman Yusup, 70, Kafe Kak Cucur owner
Shorter operating hours will certainly have its effect on businesses which would usually be running outside the limited time frame. However, because of Covid-19, there is nothing we can do but follow the rules set just to be safe. If this continues, the government needs to come in and help local businesses. Otherwise, they will not be able to survive.
Juliana Embrose, Juliana Native Handwork owner
The restriction would have a negative impact on local businesses. As for my business, sales and customers dropped by about 40 percent since the pandemic started. However, I also believe this measure is necessary in the short-term to curb the spread of the virus.
Goh Kek Lian, 36, Wonder 8 Minimart cashier
All types of businesses were impacted by the pandemic. Hopefully, the measure taken by the state government would increase the public’s awareness on the seriousness of the situation.