Friday, February 23, 2024
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Brunei Town

COVID spike takes bite out of eateries

Rokiah Mahmud

The recent spike in local COVID-19 cases has seen eateries and restaurant operators revising their operations, with some placing restrictions on the number of dine-in customers, while others are limiting services to delivery and takeaway.

The last week has also seen numerous restaurants announcing via social media platforms that their employees had contracted the virus, or red-coded as a close contact of a COVID-19 patient.

Speaking to the Bulletin, McDonald’s Brunei Marketing Lead Noor Hafilah binti Haji Mohd Salleh said that the fast food joint has, since the first outbreak, undertaken measures and strictly adheres to the standard operating procedures (SOPs) laid out by the Ministry of Health (MoH) to prevent the spread of the virus.

“It is important to ensure the safety and well-being of our employees are well-protected. It is also a top priority to ensure everyone, including customers and suppliers, acknowledge the measures we have in place.

“In terms of curbing the COVID-19 transmission chain, we have – since last year – shortened our operating hours and split the workforce into teams. This is one of the means to ensure their safety, on top of conducting antigen rapid tests (ART) on them,” she said.

Express Brunei employee Naqiuddin said the eatery strictly adheres to the SOPs, before adding that, “While most of our customers enjoy dining in, others prefer take-away services. Before entering the premises, customers are required to get a temperature check.

They must also hold a green or yellow BruHealth code, and have no flu-like symptoms.”
Meanwhile, customer Aqilah said the swell in numbers has affected her appetite for dine-in for now.

“I will opt for dine-in services when the numbers drop. There is the option of takeaway services, but I will only consider those that are willing to drop off the meals at a customer’s vehicle. Personally, I would rather choose eateries or home-based food businesses that offer home delivery services. That way, enhanced contactless measures can be taken,” she added.