OWNER OF the MovieTowne franchise Derek Chin on Monday called for government to push back curfew hours to 11 pm.
Chin said government’s move to normalise the country is a positive sign, and encouraged people to get vaccinated. But he said the curfew period of 10 pm-5 am is wreaking havoc on logistics for restaurants, bars and casinos which are now beginning to recover since the introduction of safe zones on October 11.
“While we can open, the current curfew doesn’t allow the restaurants to operate properly, with dining to end at around 8.45 pm in order to have ample time to do limited cleaning up and to get the staff out in time not to breach the 10 pm curfew.”
Chin said leaving premises dirty overnight after service could create a health risk. He added that staff also have great difficulty finding transport after hours, as most taxis end their shifts at about 9.30 pm to beat the curfew time.
“Recently certain members of staff were arrested trying to get transport home before the curfew but could not get a taxi at even 9.45 pm,” Chin said.
“Thank heavens the police assisted them to get home instead of charging them.”
He added that patrons are also required to rush, and would sometimes have to be forced out of the restaurant because they believe they have until 9.30 before they need to leave. He said that is not the reality.
“In order to clean up and for staff to make the curfew, most places have to stop serving and close by 8.30-8.45pm. This affects the business and is a big turn-off to patrons.”
He said restricting children under 12 from entering the safe zones also negates family outings and further deters people from patronising the safe zones, in what is already a limited number of possible patrons.
“Yes, it’s a good sign that we are seeing some positive moves by the authorities to normalise, but they need to adjust the more meaningful restrictions to have a more effective result for these businesses to be economical and viable.”