Restaurants reopened with dine-in service subject to health guidelines

21 May 2020                                     

The government has lifted some restrictions on restaurants after requesting the people to follow the stay at home order and not to hold public gatherings and events as well as festivities as part of preventive measures against global pandemic COVID-19.

Yangon that suddenly fell silent for almost two months due to the health restrictions now becomes alive with a teeming crowd. The governemnt eased restrictions on the restaurants previously selling through take-away service again allowing them to provide dine-in service for the customers in line with health guidelines.

The Ministry of Health and Sports issued health guildlines the restaurants will have to follow on 18 May and they were already informed as well.

The guidelines include 11 points including two customers must be seperated apart by cardboard cover or glass sheet or timber sheet. The ministry concerned informed the responsible persons of the restaurants and staff of following 11 points and the customers of 8 points.

Now the restaurants have reopened in Yangon in line with the health guidances by providing dine-in service subject to social distancing rules.

Speakig to MI Radio about the instructions he gave to the staff of his restaurant to wear masks, face shields and hand glove in providing service for the customers, U Kyi Win, owner of Shwe Kaung Kywe Restaurant, said “We have to take action following the health guidelines adopted by the Ministry of Health and Sports as part of preventive measures against the spread of the COVID-19 although the government eases some restrictions. We have to follow to wear masks and face shields and another point social distancing. One table must be 6 feet apart from another. Two customers can sit one table with a cover in front of them. The customers failing to wear masks are not allowed dine-in at the restaurant. The staff of the restaurant measure body temperature of the customers. Those exceeding the designated temperature are not allowed entering the restaurant.”

It was learnt that all the staffs of the restaurant have to be tested for body temperature.  If the staff of the restaurant is not well, the sick is arranged to be sent to the clinic and the hospital. The staff can serve the customers only after wearing face mask, face shield and hand glove.

The customers said that they could relieve stress and suffocation they had during the home stay period sitting and dining at the restaurant as the restrictions on restaurants were eased. 

Ko Ye, who is the customer from Hline Township, Yangon Region, spoke MI Radio about the disciplines he is following when he come to sit the restaurant, he said, “During the home stay period, we have to stay indoors following the restrictions as the whole world is happening like this. I don’t feel that I have freedom. People feel like to keep in touch with the community. I follow health related rules as a citizen because the restaurants are allowed reopening in line with health guidelines. We must be three feet apart one another at the restaurant. We come to sit the restaurant in line with the disciplines when it is reopened.”

If the restaurants do not meet the health disciplines released by the Ministry of Health and Sports, the COVID-19 committee and the township development affairs department will take action against them, said U Kyaw Kyaw Tun, Yangon Region Hluttaw Representative from Hline Township. 

Speaking to MI Radio about action will be taken against the restaurants if they fail to follow the rules, U Kyaw Kyaw Tun, Yangon Region Hluttaw Representative from Hline Township, said “It is supposed that the COVID-19 committee will have to lead in the township especially health matters. The township development affairs department issues out license to the restaurants and also has municipal act to take action. If the restaurants do not follow the rules, firstly they will be warned as education awareness, and secondly they will be fined. If not so, they will be banned indefinitely. Finally their licenses can be revoked.” 

Although the big restaurants are able to follow the health guidelines issued by the authorities concerned, some small ones have some difficulties to observe the rules because they have minimum space.

Min Tun (Oakkyin) and Ye Naing (Laukkai)