Shops May Turn Away Mask-less Patrons

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Malaysians who do not wear face masks in public when the mandatory mask ruling comes into force on Aug 1 could be turned away from restaurants and malls.

Masks-Aswadi Alias/NST

Several business operators told the New Straits Times that they might have to turn customers away if operators were penalised for their customers’ non-compliance.

Mas Zuhairin Zubir, the owner of Spiced Pumpkin Cafe and Bakery in Shah Alam, said the announcement made things easier for business operators.

“Some customers come to the café without face masks. We can’t say much about it because it is not mandatory. We don’t want to offend them.

“Now that an announcement has been made, it will be easier for business owners as we can ask them to wear a face mask.

“I support this ruling because my staff and I are doing it.

“We hope customers also play their part,” she told the New Straits Times.

Mas Zuhairin said she would place face masks at the counter for those who turned up at the café without a face mask.

“This could be included in the bill.

“That way, we can let customers know that they should bring a face mask the next time they come here.

“If they are not wearing a face mask and are not willing to pay for one, then we may have to turn them away.”

Yesterday, Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said wearing face masks would be made compulsory on public transport and in crowded public areas from Aug 1 as part of the government’s measures to stop the spread of Covid-19

He said those who did not comply could be fined or prosecuted.

However, it remains unclear whether action will be taken against business owners who allowed patrons without masks to enter their premises.

Syarafiq Abd Samad, who operates a satay restaurant in Klang, said he would put up a sign at his store entrance to remind customers of the ruling.

“I will ask customers to put on their face mask if they have one. I will also place some at the counter.

“If they refuse, I will have to deny them entry.

1 Utama Shopping Centre public relations manager Lee Li Lian said it could turn away those who failed to comply with the directive.

“Yes, we will have to. We are waiting for the standard operating procedures from the government before enforcing any action.

“Almost all of our shoppers wear face masks and practise responsible shopping habits, like scanning the QR code for contact tracing and getting their temperature checked when entering the mall, as well as social distancing and sanitising their hands.

“We started our face mask campaign on May 15 to encourage shoppers to wear masks.

“Face masks are available at our customer service centres for a donation of RM1, and all proceeds are donated to charities.” – NST