Eateries and more may open till midnight again

One of many activities that Malaysians had to put a pause on under the National Recovery Plan (NRP) are our late-night supper outings. But that may all change soon, as eateries and convenience stores, as well as petrol stations, may be allowed to open from 6AM till 12AM again.

The change in operating hours for these businesses will apply to all states in Malaysia, and under all four phases of the NRP, once it kicks in. A decision will be made at the Special Committee Covid-19 Pandemic Management meeting held on Wednesday, 22nd September 2021.

Update (23rd September 2021): Eateries, petrol stations, convenience stores, as well as grocery stores and mini markets, will be allowed to operate from 6AM to midnight as of Thursday, 23rd September, as announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

Extended hours for eateries, convenience stores & petrol stations

The announcement to extend operating hours till midnight for eateries, convenience stores and petrol stations, regardless of NRP phases, was made by Senior Minister (Security) Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein on Tuesday, 21st September.

Once approved, these businesses will be allowed to open from 6AM to 12AM in all states. However, areas under the Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO) will see unchanged operating hours.

To help jog your memory, eateries are currently allowed to open from 6AM to 10PM for areas under NRP Phases 1 and 2, and from 6AM till midnight in Phase 3, as outlined in the National Security Council’s list of standard operating procedures (SOPs).

Likewise, convenience stores can only operate from 8AM to 8PM in Phase 1, and 6AM to 10PM in Phase 2. Petrol stations see similar operating hours, with the exception of stations located on highways that are allowed to open for 24 hours under all phases.

Eateries and more to operate till midnight - convenience storesImage (for illustration purposes only) credit: FamilyMart Malaysia

According to a report by The Star, the matter to extend operating hours for these businesses was agreed upon at the Covid-19 Quartet Ministers Meeting, held with Hishammuddin, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, Communications and Multimedia Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa, and Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz in attendance.

It will be further raised at a Special Committee Covid-19 Pandemic Management meeting chaired by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob on Wednesday, 22nd September, and announced subsequently.

The move comes as Malaysia is set to move towards the endemic phase, set for the end of October 2021.

Previously, on 14th September, Hishammudin was also reported saying that the government is working towards boiling down 181 Covid-19 SOPs currently in place to just 10 SOPs. This simplification of Covid-19 safety measures is so everyone can easily understand them, and will be released by the Prime Minister in two weeks from when he made the announcement.

Operating hours till midnight for eateries and more

Extending operating hours for essential businesses – eateries, convenience stores and petrol stations – comes as a relief for individuals who are looking to grab a bite after a late shift at work or who has happened to miss out on their usual dinner hours. It’ll hopefully be helpful to businesses which are struggling at this time too, with extra hours allotted to operate and serve customers.

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Cover image (for illustration purposes only) adapted from: FamilyMart Malaysia and Shell

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