PETALING JAYA: The service industry hopes the government will not resort to drastic action following the discovery of a Covid-19 Omicron case which may halt economic activity during the holidays.

It vows to adhere to the standard operating procedure (SOP).

“The news of a negative test result from the Omicron index case and seven close contacts is welcome, and we hope this will instil confidence,” said Malaysian Muslim Restaurant Owners Association (Presma) president Datuk Jawahar Ali Taib Khan.

“Many restaurants would not survive if another lockdown is imposed, as the bad economy has impacted many of us.

“We have followed all the SOPs strictly since day one. We screen everyone and also sanitise.

“Though there is still a risk, we just need to take extra precautions. We get regular visits from the Health Ministry and police to check that we are following the SOPs,” he said.

Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) chief executive officer Yap Lip Seng believed that it was still too early to draw conclusions from the negative test results, adding that it is more important to understand the impact of the variant and its characteristics.

Yap also said a total lockdown should be avoided, and more focus given to building awareness and SOP enforcement.

“We are confident that the government will take the necessary steps to protect people based on the true situation and studies,” he said.

He added that hotels are already a step ahead of the basic SOPs, with daily monitoring of guests and increased sanitation.

“Hotels have also introduced a detailed room cleaning procedure after guests check out, with a safety seal placed on the hotel room door after disinfection,” he said.

Malaysia Retailers Association vice-president Datuk Ameer Ali Mydin also hoped that the government would not overreact.

“Other countries are taking a cautious approach, so we hope and pray there won’t be another lockdown,” he said.