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10 Things You Should Know If You’re Dining Out During CMCO

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Cheng Sim  •  May 23, 2020

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UPDATE: As of 15 October 2020, Malaysia's Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob has announced that CMCO (Conditional Movement Control Order) will be reimposed in Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Putrajaya, Sabah and Labuan. In a recent press conference on 15 October 2020, dine-ins are allowed during CMCO but other options such as drive-thru, deliveries and take-aways are encouraged. Now that CMCO (Conditional Movement Control Order) has been reimposed in several states in Malaysia, celebrating in a fancy restaurant in Kuala Lumpur or cafe-hopping with our friends in Klang Valley will be something we have to put on hold for a while. As Malaysia continues to persevere through the pandemic, it was announced that dine-in at restaurants are still allowed under strict social distancing guidelines, as shared by Malaysia's Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob on 13 October 2020. While we recommend that you get your food delivered to your doorstep and order a takeaway from these halal eateries, here's what you need to know before dining out during CMCO.
1. Call in advance and make a reservation
 While the Malaysian government allows dine-ins at restaurants under strict guidelines during CMCO, some eateries might have decided against it to protect the well-being of their staffs. If you're planning to visit any restaurants in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Putrajaya and Sabah, we recommend contacting the owner in advance and making a reservation, if possible. 
2. Visit the restaurant during off-peak hours
Credit: Nando's on Facebook Adhering to the strict social distancing guidelines, all tables or seats in the restaurants must be arranged with a two-meter distance. With this new ruling, there will be lesser tables set up or seats available. As of 15 October 2020, restaurants are allowed to sit two people per table and a maximum of four people in a large table. In Selangor, restaurants can allow a group of five people to dine together in a table for ten. If you didn't make any prior reservations, you can visit the restaurant during off-peak hours to avoid the crowd. Based on the latest announcement on 13 October 2020, all restaurants, food stalls, food trucks, food courts, and food kiosks can only operate between 6AM and 10PM daily.
3. Wear a face mask
 It may be uncomfortable to wear a face mask while waiting for your order to arrive, but we're still required to do so when in public. Previously, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced that 'business owners must ensure their employees are equipped with face masks all the time', according to Malay Mail. Hence, it's best to wear a face mask and remove them temporarily when eating.
4. Bring your own pen to jot down your name and contact number
Credit: Texas Chicken Malaysia on Facebook To speed up contact tracing, all restaurants are required to jot down the dine-in customer's name and contact number. To maintain minimal contact, we recommend bringing and using your own pen to write your details or download the MySejahtera app (available on Google Play or Apple App Store) that comes with a personal QR code, which you can scan at the premise.
5. Be mindful of distance with others
Credit: Strangers at 47 on Facebook Being mindful of your distance with the restaurant's staff and other dine-in customers are also important. The practice of social distancing continues during CMCO, and we advised that you keep a one-meter distance with anyone around you to minimise close contact.
6. Let servers have space to set down food
When your order arrives, give the server some space to set down your food as the social distancing rule also applies here. The cleanliness of cutleries and kitchenware is also a top priority for restaurants, so you don't have to worry!
7. Maintain one-meter distance from the payment counter
Credit: Texas Chicken Malaysia on Facebook When you're ready to pay for your meal, make sure to keep a one-meter distance from the payment counter and practice social distancing with the restaurant's staff. 
8. Pay using cashless transaction
Instead of paying with cash, opt for a cashless transaction such as e-wallet, debit card or credit card. This is important to limit contact while you're handing over your cash to someone else.
9. Wash your hands
As soon as you leave the restaurant, be sure to wash your hands with soap and water at the nearest washroom. Alternatively, you can wipe your hands using antibacterial wipes or use a hand sanitiser.
10. If you're not comfortable to dine-in, order a takeaway
Credit: McDonald's Malaysia on Facebook For most of us, the idea of dining out may be something we're steering away from. If you're not comfortable to dine-in, you can opt for other options such as ordering a take-away, picking up your meal from the restaurant or get it sent to your home through food delivery services such as GrabFood and foodpanda. And there you have it! If dining in a restaurant is the nearest option when you're working in the office or shopping for groceries, remember these rules to stay safe and keep your hygiene in check.